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Cars sitting at red light crushed installed last weekend

Issued: 2018-03-15

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida International University’s (FIU) massive new pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday afternoon killing several people.

The 950-ton bridge, located at 109th Ave and 8th Street, collapsed on a number of cars.

Florida Highway Patrol confirms several people are dead due to the collapse. They also said several cars have been crushed.

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

An official told CBS4’s Jim DeFede, “At this point, we can’t even tell how many cars are under there. We won’t have a count on bodies for a while. It’s bad. It’s really bad.”

The cars were reportedly stopped at a red light when the pedestrian bridge collapsed.

“There were no warning signs. It looks like it just came down,” the official told DeFede.

FIU issued a statement to about the deadly incident, saying,

“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time we are still involved in the 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.”

Florida Governor Rick Scot says he’s spoken with Miami-Dade Police Chief Juan Perez and will stay in contact with law enforcement through the day.

As for traffic in the area, 8th Street is shutdown in both directions. Traffic is being re-routed through 117th Ave and 7th Street.

The bridge went up on Saturday. It was then lowered into its final position, just west of 109th Avenue that day. The main span was built next to Southwest 8th Street.

The bridge was constructed using an innovative approach to bridge construction – a technique meant to reduce potential risks to workers, commuters and pedestrians and prevented traffic tie-ups in the area.

The positioning of the bridge Saturday was the largest pedestrian bridge move via Self-Propelled Modular Transportation, in U.S. history.

Funding for the $14.2 million bridge, connecting plazas and walkways is part of a $19.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Other funding agencies include the Federal Highway Administration, Florida Department of Transportation Local Agency Program, FIU and the City of Sweetwater.

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