At least four killed after Florida pedestrian bridge collapses

Updated 2018-03-16 10:40:08

A pedestrian footbridge near Florida International University (FIU) in Miami collapses on March 15, 2018.

A newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami on Thursday, killing at least four people, according to Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey.

"We have located up to four victims. Four deceased," Downey said, adding that nine people were taken to hospitals and the rescue work is still ongoing.

The 950-ton, 53-meter-long bridge collapsed on a busy highway in Miami at around 1:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT), crushing at least eight vehicles.

Aerial view shows a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, US on March 15, 2018. /Reuters Photo

Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs searched for signs of life amid the wreckage of concrete slabs and twisted metal after the accident.

"We're working our way into the pile trying to create holes that we can actually physically see," Miami-Dade Fire Department Division Chief Paul Estopian told reporters.

At one point, police requested television helicopters to leave the area so that rescuers could listen for any sounds of people crying for help from beneath the collapsed structure, CBS Miami television said.

The bridge was erected on Saturday in six hours over the eight-lane highway, connecting the university and a student housing area, according to a report posted on the university's website.

"If anybody has done anything wrong, we will hold them accountable," said Florida Governor Rick Scott, at a Thursday night press conference, after his office issued a statement saying a company contracted to inspect the bridge was not pre-qualified by the state.

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