Miami bridge collapse: 2 victims identified, crews trying to recover bodies

by Garry Watts March 17, 2018, 1:17
Miami bridge collapse: 2 victims identified, crews trying to recover bodies

The main companies behind the $14.2 million construction project have faced questions about their past work, and one was fined in 2012 when a 90-ton (80-metric ton) section of a bridge collapsed in Virginia. Instead, parts of the bridge are prefabricated away from the site.

In a statement on Thursday, Figg said the it was stunned by the collapse and that it would cooperate with investigations.

On Friday, there was still conflicting information about what work, if any, was occurring on the bridge when it fell. The student was female, university President Mark Rosenberg told Miami's 7News. The cables supporting the span were being tightened following a "stress test" when it collapsed, authorities said.

As state and federal investigators worked Friday to determine how and why the five-day-old span failed, one factor may have been the stress test Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said crews were conducting on the span.

"The bridge was about collaboration, about neighborliness, about doing the right thing", he said.

Meanwhile, teams of rescue workers and engineers with heavy lifting equipment began the slow and unsafe task of lifting the unstable remains of the 950-ton concrete structure from vehicles that were crushed when the bridge came down early on Thursday afternoon.

At least one person was taken as a trauma alert to the hospital, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

One part of the bridge, which spanned 174 feet, came down on the driver's side of a auto, killing the female driver but not the passenger, said Jenna Mendez, a sergeant with the Sweetwater Police Department.

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The massive search-and-rescue effort searched under the slabs of concrete stretching across the eight-lane highway, with more than 100 firefighters on the scene, along with technical rescue workers, search dogs, and cranes. "It's bad", Miami-Dade Police Department director Juan Perez told a local radio station on Friday. "If anybody has done anything wrong, we will hold them accountable", Scott said late on Thursday.

Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez praised the actions of first responders during a news conference but acknowledged the likelihood of finding more victims under the rubble was growing more hard with the passage of time. Some reports on Thursday put the number of dead as high as 10.

Who was building the bridge?

At the same time, many people were injured.

The victims have not been publicly identified, but at least one was a student at Florida International University, whose campus borders the roadway, officials told the press conference.

Authorities confirmed Friday that an FIU student was among the deceased, but did not provide the victim's identity.

The freshman political science major was riding with her pal, Richard Humble, who managed to get out of the passenger seat and escape to safety.

"The cars were completely crushed under it", Carrasco said. "She wanted to become a lawyer, and she was so handsome". "That's the best I can tell you", she said. He added that his daughter had hoped to one day work in global law. "I know you are all concerned for us".

He said he anxious that the authorities had waited too long to try to pull her from the wreckage.

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