fiubridge ABC News
Emergency personnel respond to bridge collapse at Florida International University

6 killed when bridge collapses at Florida International University in Miami

The bridge was installed last weekend to carry pedestrians safely over a busy street.

Six people have been killed after a 950-ton pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami.

CNN reports that emergency crews Friday morning have shifted their focus to digging through the rubble for any more bodies and preserving evidence around the unstable bridge remnants.

Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta says that of the six people who died, five bodies still were under the rubble Friday morning. At least nine injured people were taken to local hospitals.

The university says a female student is among those who died.

The structure's 950-ton main span had just been installed Saturday using an accelerated construction process meant in part to reduce the time that street traffic was halted. The bridge had been designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

It was intended to enhance safety -- letting walkers and cyclists cross a busy eight-lane street with less worry after a vehicle last year fatally struck a Florida International student.

According to a fact sheet about the bridge on the university's website, bridge cost $14.2 million to build.

The Miami Herald reports that the bridge gave way suddenly while the traffic light for motorists was red, so that the concrete span fell on top of a row of stopped vehicles. A woman stopped at the light who was heading westbound said the structure fell without warning.

Video from ABC News:

The university posted a news release on Saturday's placement of the bridge into its permanent position across Southwest 8th Street.

The 174-foot main span had been assembled on the side of the road so that traffic could continue unimpeded. Then, on Saturday -- at the start of Florida International's weeklong spring break -- a rig moved the span into position over the street as community members gathered to watch. The process took about six hours.

The bridge crosses Southwest 8th Street at the 109th Avenue intersection. Between its walkways and plazas, it will also provide 9,900 square feet of gathering and event space.

Florida International posted a time-lapse video on YouTube Wednesday showing the construction and installation of the bridge.

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