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Latest: Officials: ‘Multiple’ people dead in bridge fall

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UPDATE: Officials say multiple people have been killed and eight people have been taken to the hospital in the collapse of a bridge at a Florida university.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that there were “multiple victims” but the number hadn’t been determined yet.

Estopinan says eight vehicles were trapped under the new pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in the Miami area.

Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp says search dogs are working the scene.

The section of bridge spanning a busy road had just been installed Saturday.

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3:45 p.m.

Officials say several people have been killed in the collapse of a new pedestrian bridge at a Florida university campus.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho tells CBS News that the collapse Thursday afternoon has caused “several fatalities.”

The 950-ton section of bridge was installed Saturday at Florida International University in the Miami area. It hadn’t yet opened to foot traffic.

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3:15 p.m.

University officials were urging students and others to stay away from the area where a pedestrian bridge collapsed while rescue efforts proceed.

Firetrucks, police and other emergency vehicles were at the scene Thursday afternoon on the campus of Florida International University in the Miami area. Fire officials said multiple people have been injured.

Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was on his way to FIU to be briefed by local law enforcement and university officials.

The university had announced with fanfare Saturday that the main section of the modularly constructed bridge had been swung into place. The university said the “accelerated bridge construction” method was supposed to reduce risks to workers and pedestrians and minimize traffic disruption.

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3 p.m.

Miami’s fire department says multiple people have been injured in the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at a Florida university.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department tweeted Thursday afternoon that “multiple patients” had been injured and officials were working to confirm how many. It also said it was securing the structure while searching for injured people.

The newly installed bridge collapsed on the campus of Florida International University in the Miami area.

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2:35 p.m.

Local live television reports show five or six vehicles trapped under a pedestrian bridge that has collapsed at a Florida university.

The newly installed bridge collapsed Thursday afternoon at Florida International University in the Miami area.

The TV broadcasts also showed several people being loaded onto ambulances immediately after the collapse.

The 950-ton section of bridge was installed Saturday. The bridge’s main 174-foot span was previously assembled by the side of the road while support towers were built at either end.

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2:25 p.m.

A newly installed pedestrian bridge has collapsed at Florida International University in the Miami area and it’s not immediately clear if anyone is hurt.

The 950-ton span fell Thursday afternoon at the university’s main campus in the Miami area. Video shows vehicles underneath the bridge were hit.

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FLORIDA (WOAY) – A pedestrian bridge stretching across a street on the Florida International University campus in Miami collapsed Thursday afternoon, killing multiple people, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Aerial footage showed first responders tending to victims on the scene, searching for people in the rubble and loading others on stretchers into ambulances.

Five to six vehicles were crushed in the collapse, the highway patrol said.

“As soon as I looked outside, I saw dust flying everywhere,” she said. “I knew the bridge had collapsed.”

The hood of a dark-colored sedan could be seen trapped underneath the fallen bridge, while the other half of the car was sticking out from the wreckage. It is unclear if the driver or any passengers inside that car were injured or killed.

In a statement, the university said it was “shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding on campus.”

“At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information,” the university said. “We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was aware of the collapse and that he would be in “constant communication” with law enforcement throughout the day.

A section 8th Street was closed earlier this month to allow workers to position a 174-foot bridge, according to PantherNOW, a university newspaper.

FIU touted the bridge to be a first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place on Saturday.

According to an FIU press release, the 174-foot, 950-ton bridge was just installed “in a few hours” using “accelerated bridge construction” methods, which the university said “reduces potential risks to workers, commuters, and pedestrians and minimizes traffic interruptions.”

The street that the bridge stretches over, 8th Street, is a busy road that runs from downtown Miami and west all the to the Everglades.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



Tyler Barker

Tyler is the Chief Meteorologist & Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. You can find him weekdays at 5, 6, and 11 pm on WOAY-TV. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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