Six to 10 people were killed when a newly erected pedestrian bridge spanning several lanes of traffic collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday, US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told local TV station CBS Miami.
Eight vehicles were trapped in the wreckage of the 950-ton bridge and eight people have been transported to hospitals, officials told a news conference.
Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs searched for signs of life amid the wreckage of concrete, twisted metal and that rained from the collapsed structure and crushed vehicles on one of the busiest roads in South Florida.
The Florida Highway Patrol previously said several people were killed but did not release a figure on fatalities.
At one point, police had requested television helicopters to leave the area so rescuers could hear for any sounds of people crying for help from beneath the collapsed structure, the Miami TV station said.
Complicating the rescue effort was the uncertainty about the integrity of the bridge, parts of which remained off the ground, much of it inclined, local media reported.
The bridge connects the university with the city of Sweetwater and was installed on Saturday in six hours over the eight-lane highway, according to a story that was posted on the university’s website. It was 174 feet (53 m) long and weighed 950 tons.
The bridge was intended to provide a walkway over southwest Eighth Street, one of the busiest roads in South Florida. An 18-year-old female FIU student from San Diego was killed while trying to cross the street last August, according to local media reports.
Students at FIU are currently on their spring break vacation, which runs from March 12 to March 17.
Television footage showed firefighters were walking across the flattened wreckage and medics treating injured people. Emergency personnel appeared to be trying to work their way through a hole in the top of the bridge.
Continuation for this http://bit.ly/2pijt1F