Cables Were Being Tightened Before Bridge's Deadly Collapse

Brand-new FIU bridge flattened cars
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2018 1:32 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2018 6:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – It was supposed to be a "signature project" that people would identify with Florida International University. Instead, it's the scene of a still unexplained tragedy that left at least six people dead. At least nine injured people were pulled from the rubble Thursday after a pedestrian bridge collapsed over eight lanes of traffic near the Miami-area campus, reports the Miami Herald. At least eight cars were flattened by the sudden collapse. Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey said Thursday night that rescue workers were using sniffer dogs and high-tech listening devices in the search for survivors, the AP reports. Early Friday, police said the operation had moved from rescue to recovery.

The main span of the "instant" $14.2 million bridge connecting FIU to the community of Sweetwater was swung into place on Saturday, though it wasn't scheduled to open to the public until 2019. Sen. Marco Rubio, an adjunct professor at the university, says the bridge was "one of a kind in terms of its engineering design," the Sun Sentinel reports. "There will be an exhaustive review that will get details on an engineering and scientific level as to what the errors were and what led to this catastrophic collapse, of that you can rest assured," he says. There were two workers on the bridge at the time of the collapse, and Rubio tweeted Thursday night that the cables that suspend the bridge had loosened and were being tightened when it collapsed. (Read more Florida stories.)

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