Three more bodies recovered from Florida bridge collapse

by Abel Hampton March 19, 2018, 0:44
Three more bodies recovered from Florida bridge collapse

Two of those heavily-trapped cars were removed this morning and crews are working to remove two more now, officials said. A third vehicle was pulled from the debris later in the day, but police did not initially say whether they had found human remains inside. They said in a statement that representatives of FIU and DOT met with a FIGG engineer for two hours Thursday morning to discuss the cracking, and determined there wasn't a safety issue.

Reports indicate the bridge, which was due to open in 2019, may have been undergoing stress testing at the time of the collapse.

On Saturday, investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board identified pieces of the bridge structure to collect as evidence to "understand the collapse sequence and what caused it", said NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil.

Authorities say at least six people were killed when the structure fell onto a busy six-lane road connecting the campus to the community of Sweetwater.

Miami police expect to find an unknown number of bodies in crushed vehicles that remain trapped beneath the rubble.

Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez said the final two victims were recovered Saturday afternoon. "The only pause from the rescuers was when we asked them to pause so that we could pray over every victim".

A pedestrian bridge collapsed on the Florida International University campus in Miami, March 15, 2018.

Miami-Dade Police are releasing the names of three victims pulled from the rubble of a Miami bridge that collapsed two days earlier.

FIGG was fined in 2012 after a section of a bridge it was building in Virginia fell and injured several workers. Another fourth victim, who died in hospital was identified by the police as Navarro Brown. At least six people died as a result.

Their efforts to clear the debris and reach victims are being hampered and slowed by the rubble's risky instability. "That's still too early in the investigation for us to determine".

Victim Alexa Duran studied politics at Florida International University
Victim Alexa Duran studied politics at Florida International University

Of the eight vehicles originally caught beneath the 950-ton span, six had been trapped entirely, with four "very hard to extract", said Maurice Kemp, deputy mayor of Miami-Dade County.

While police believed all victims had been accounted for, they nevertheless said the search and rescue was continuing. Two workers were on top when it pancaked on top of vehicles waiting at a stoplight.

A total of eight cars were trapped under the bridge after it crumbled, including six that were "significantly entangled", authorities said.

"It's going to be a long process", Perez said.

"We know that there's people missing, the family members know that there's people missing, and what we can tell them is that we can assume that they're in there", Perez told a news conference.

Two days before the collapse, an engineer with the design firm left a voicemail to say some cracking had been found at one end of the concrete span, but the voicemail wasn't picked up until after the collapse, Florida Department of Transportation officials said Friday. Add Florida Bridge Collapse as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Florida Bridge Collapse news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

"Any bridge with concrete, that's made of concrete, there's always cracks", said Verrastro, who has been an engineer for 42 years.

The recovery work continues as it emerged officials had decided just hours before the bridge collapsed that a crack in the structure was not a safety concern.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed Alexa Duran's death in a tweet, saying: "I'm sorry to inform you of the death of Alexa DurĂ¡n, 18-year-old and the daughter of an Ecuadorian father, in the collapse of the pedestrian bridge in Miami in front of the @FIU". Authorities are slowly removing the debris, looking for more victims.

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