4 people found dead in rubble of Florida bridge collapse

"That bridge, what ever is left of it, is very, very unstable, so we have to be very careful as they're moving stuff", says Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. Police say they expect that number to go up.

At least 10 people were taken to hospitals and two remained critical, officials and local media reported.

On Thursday, emergency services had been racing to find survivors in the rubble using hi-tech listening devices, sniffer dogs and search cameras.

According to a Florida International University press release from March 10, the bridge that collapsed Thursday was installed in a few hours over the weekend, with "limited disruption to traffic".

The pedestrian bridge, which reportedly used the Accelerated Bridge Construction or instant bridge, collapsed over a busy road on Thursday.

"Work zone accidents are a problem with any construction project, and minimizing the amount of time that the workers are exposed to traffic makes it safer for everybody", she said.

"I looked up, and in an instant, the bridge was collapsing on us completely".

One of the companies, the Figg Bridge Group, also designed and built the Interstate 35W Bridge replacement in Minneapolis after the previous bridge collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people.

FIGG said in a statement that it's stunned by the collapse.

At one point, police requested television helicopters leave the area so rescuers could hear for any sounds of people crying for help from beneath the collapsed structure, CBS Miami television said. "This project accomplishes our mission beautifully", school president Mark B. Rosenberg said in a statement Saturday that now appears to have been taken off the university's website. "Now we're feeling huge sadness, uncontrollable sadness".

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate the collapse.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, including those members of our own Bolton Perez & Associates family who were injured yesterday", it said. "That's the best I can tell you", she said.

The Virginia Department of Labor cited Figg for four violations in 2012 after a 90-ton slab of concrete fell from a bridge it was building near Norfolk, according to the Miami Herald.

A review of OSHA records, meanwhile, shows MCM has been fined for 11 safety violations in the past five years totaling more than $50,000 after complaints involving its Florida work sites.

MCM Construction Management promised on its Facebook page to participate in "a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong".

Florida International University is the second largest university in the state, with 55,000 students, most of whom live off-campus.

A university student was killed in August while crossing the road that the bridge was supposed to span.

A spokesman said he was on the bridge "providing installation support for our products".

  • Gwendolyn Kim