A newly installed pedestrian bridge over a civilian roadway on the Florida International University campus in Miami collapsed Thursday afternoon, killing several people and injuring others, CBS Miami reported. The bridge, which had not yet opened to foot traffic, was only installed the previous Saturday.
People in the area quickly took to Twitter to post photos of vehicles that had been crushed by the collapsing bridge. The cars were stopped underneath the bridge at a red light.
These cars have been completely flattened with drivers inside from the Miami bridge collapsing. Keep them in your prayers in Jesus Name! pic.twitter.com/hSs0OXlONN
— Brandon Galambos (@gbos_23) March 15, 2018
According to Florida Highway Patrol, “several people” are dead, but it will be some time before an accurate count can be made. Eight people were taken to the hospital in the aftermath of the collapse. Authorities said at least six people could be dead, the Miami Herald reported.
The 107-foot section of the bridge was swung into place using a new bridge installation method less than a week before the collapse. It weighed 905 tons and cost $14.2 million in total. WPLG reporter Carlos Suarez said the collapse occurred while the bridge was being stress tested.
Florida International University posted a video of the installation process after it was completed.
First-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge “swings” into place. “FIU is about building bridges and student safety. This project accomplishes our mission beautifully,” -President Mark B. Rosenberg. https://t.co/x8gPM9A4DG #worldsahead pic.twitter.com/mPEMeh2zmw
— FIU (@FIU) March 10, 2018
The university sent out a response after the collapse, promising more information when it became available.
“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time we are still involved in the 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.”
Traffic was immediately shut down in the area until the situation could be resolved. Florida governor Rick Scott will reportedly go to the Florida International campus Thursday evening to assess the situation.