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FIU bridge collapses

8 hospitalized and several killed after pedestrian bridge collapses at FIU in Miami

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By: Gary Detman, WPEC

MIAMI (WPEC) - Investigators rushed eight people to the hospital and are searching for more potential victims of a pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in Miami.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, police did not reveal the number of fatalities, but did say the first crews on scene found eight vehicles crushed by the bridge.

Earlier, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed at least several deaths, according to Miami-Dade Police.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue tells CBS12 they are securing the structure while searching for victims. Police brought in heavy equipment, cranes, and dogs as part of the intense search and rescue effort.

Miami-Dade Police tell CBS12 the first call about the collapse came in around 1:30 p.m.

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Video from the TV helicopter crew shows a number of cars buried under the bridge and rescue crews navigating treacherous slabs of concrete and debris to find victims.

FIU police are asking people to avoid the area between SW 117th Avenue and SW 107th Avenue on SW Eighth Street due to police activity in the area. Miami-Dade Police tell CBS12 they are taking over the investigation.

Police and news crews are being asked to keep their helicopters away from the scene so first responders can hear if any victims are pinned under the rubble.

Fire Rescue says it's bringing in additional technical rescue resources to the scene. They are not asking for doctors or nurses to respond.

Police and news crews are being asked to keep their helicopters away from the scene so first responders can hear if any victims are pinned under the rubble.

Fire Rescue says it's bringing in additional technical rescue resources to the scene. They are not asking for doctors or nurses to respond.

"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," said FIU in a statement.

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President Trump is monitoring the developments.

"Our brave first responders are working feverishly to save lives," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's been briefed.

FIU shared video of the bridge five days ago as crews moved it into place, calling it the first-of-its kind pedestrian bridge.

"FIU is about building bridges and student safety," wrote President Mark B. Rosenberg on Twittter.

MCM, the company behind the project, issued a statement following the FIU bridge collapse.

"The MCM 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."


FIGG Engineering also issued a statement.

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“We are stunned by today’s tragic collapse of a pedestrian bridge that was under construction over Southwest Eighth Street in Miami. Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident. We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why. In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before. Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”


Police set up a reunification zone at FIU at the Student Academic and Success Center. People should enter the campus from the entrance at SW 107th Avenue & 16th Street.

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