At least four dead as Florida university bridge collapses

At least four people and another 10 injured after the footbrigde collapsed near the Florida international Univeristy in Miami • The bridge was erected on Saturday in just six hours

Vehicles are still trapped under the footbridge. (photo:The Guardian)
Vehicles are still trapped under the footbridge. (photo:The Guardian)

At least four people have been killed, and another 10 hurt after a footbridge collapsed near Florida International University in Miami, officials say.

The 950-ton span fell directly on to a busy roadway at the university’s main Miami-area campus, crushing at least eight cars.

 Rescuers are spending the night searching for victims trapped beneath the buckled structure.

The bridge was erected on Saturday in just six hours.

It was built using a method called "accelerated bridge construction" to avoid traffic disruption. A major section of the bridge was assembled on the side of the road and then raised into place.

At a news briefing Thursday evening, the Miami-Dade County fire chief said four had been found deceased at the scene by first responders. Nine victims were removed “early on” and taken to hospitals, Dave Downey added, but did not elaborate on their conditions.

The bridge collapsed just five days after instalment
The bridge collapsed just five days after instalment

Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, also spoke to reporters, saying: “Everybody is working hard to make sure we rescue anyone who can be rescued.” The governor added that an investigation would get to the bottom of “why this happened and what happened” and that anyone found responsible would be held accountable.

At least 10 people were treated for injuries at the Kendall Regional Medical Center, including two who were in "extremely critical condition", according to Dr Mark McKenney, director of general surgery.

At one point, police ordered TV helicopters to leave the area so rescue teams could hear for any sounds of people calling for help under the wreckage, CBS Miami television reported.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Donald Trump was aware of the collapse. “Our brave first responders are working feverishly to save lives,” she said at a news briefing.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was sending a team to investigate the bridge collapse.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday night he was monitoring "the heartbreaking bridge collapse".

 "There will clearly be an investigation to find out exactly what happened and why this happened," Gov Scott said.

"But the most important thing we can do right now is pray for the individuals that ended up in the hospital for their full recovery. Pray for the family members that have lost loved ones," he said.

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