Florida International University’s pedestrian bridge has collapsed on Thursday afternoon. Located at 109th Ave and 8th Street, the bridge, which weighs around 950 tons, went up on Saturday, lowered into its final position. People near the incident have been sharing images and videos of the incident on social media. At this time, numerous people were said to have been injured and even killed, but it is unclear just how many people had been hurt from the incident.
At this time, the bridge was believed to have collapsed on Thursday afternoon. At this time, the reasons for the incident and if there were any casualties is unknown. On their official Twitter account, the school released the following statements:
“#FIUalert Please avoid the areas between SW 117th Ave and 107th Ave. Police activity in the area.”
“#FIUalert: The pedestrian bridge across Southwest Eighth Street has collapsed, please avoid the area.”
“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time, we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information. We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene. We will share updates as we have them.”
UPDATE: ABC News confirmed that people had been killed in the collapse, but the exact number of victims is unclear at this time. In addition, five to seven cars were crushed in the incident. According to CBS4 Local, Florida Highway Patrol official Jim DeFede issued the following statement, emphasizing how getting a number of casualties is unclear at this point:
“At this point, we can’t even tell how many cars are under there. We won’t have a count on bodies for a while. It’s bad. It’s really bad.”
An eyewitness, identified as Tiona Page, gave the following account to ABC News:
“As soon as I looked outside, I saw dust flying everywhere.”
“I knew the bridge had collapsed.”
What happens now?
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued the following statement on Twitter:
“I have spoken with Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez about the pedestrian bridge collapse at FIU. I will be in constant communication with law enforcement throughout the day.”
According to CBS Local, at least one person was sent to a local hospital as a trauma alert, as confirmed by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
The bridge was created to serve as a safe route for students traveling between FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus and the small city of Sweetwater, which has around 4,000 students. Beforehand, both students and faculty members asked for a pedestrian bridge at the crossing, as they would need to cross seven lanes of traffic to commute to the school.
Munilla Construction Management, the company behind the bridge, has also issued the following statement on Facebook:
“Our family’s thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. The new UniversityCity Bridge, which was under construction, experienced a catastrophic collapse causing injuries and loss of life. MCM is a family business and we are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist. We will conduct a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong and will cooperate with investigators on scene in every way.”
UPDATE: Senator Bill Nelson also released the following statements on Twitter:
“My heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by this tragic bridge collapse at @FIU.”
“Just talked to @NTSB Chairman Sumwalt who confirmed he’ll be launching and leading an investigation into the bridge collapse at @FIU.”
According to Vice News, Nelson also told an unidentified, local news station that the number of people who lost their lives in the collapse was “between six to ten people.”
As this story is breaking, more information will be updated as made available.