A “first-of-its-kind” pedestrian bridge weighing 950 tons just collapsed onto a major Miami surface highway. Miami’s Florida International University (FIU) commissioned the bridge to connect the college campus to a neighboring municipality
The aftermath of Miami’s ongoing bridge collapse tragedy was caught in a video that now going viral on Twitter (embedded below) Reporters for the Miami Herald says that that police believe at least five people are dead at this time, eight more have been taken to hospitals.
MCM and FIGG Bridge Engineering who created the iconic Sunshine Skyway in Tampa designed the bridge, which was assembled (video) alongside the roadway before being moved into place. In a bizarre coincidence, indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort attempted to broker the sale of the bridge’s construction company MCM to a Chinese billionaire just last year.
University officials are expressing horror, but have already begun deleting last week’s triumphant PR about the doomed 174-foot “instant bridge” project according to the Miami New Times:
Though FIU had trumpeted the success of the plan for weeks, by 3 p.m. Thursday, the university had deleted at least one press release from its website about the bridge.
In an email to the press at 2:49 p.m. university spokeswoman Madeline Baro wrote: “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. We will share updates as we have them.”
The two companies responsible for designing and building the bridge have had problems with past collapses, the worst being a 90-ton bridge by FIGG that failed in Virginia without fatalities when it fell onto a set of railroad tracks.
The structural monitoring company hired to observe the $14.2 million federally funded FIU bridge’s move from the roadside to above US Highway 41 just a few days ago has also deleted its tweet about the project, but MNT‘s Jerry Iannelli captured it:
Ironically, FIU and the numerous backers of the project touted the improvements to motorist, pedestrian, and worker safety that would follow from their new technique.
Now, at least five Miami families will have to cope with lost loved ones and eight more will have to suffer the life-changing consequences of today’s terrible engineering disaster.
Multiple videos below:
THE FIU BRIDGE COLLAPSED OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/JO7jfx5AoN
— Gabriela Collazo (@GabrielaRose12) March 15, 2018
Police calling doctors and nurses to the scene. @MiamiHerald pic.twitter.com/lgvkNTdQSJ
— Monique O. Madan (@MoniqueOMadan) March 15, 2018
just drove under the new FIU bridge before it collapsed on the road pic.twitter.com/zmHfB9Z143
— isa (@isaaacarrasco) March 15, 2018
Watch construction crews and Miami-Dade Commissioner Pepe Diaz celebrate installing the bridge just last week in a dramatically edited video by FIU:
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