MIAMI (FOX 13) - Several people are dead after a pedestrian bridge, just installed over the weekend, came crashing down on a South Florida highway this afternoon atop of several vehicles.
The view from SkyFOX showed the smashed bridge laying across the lanes of Southwest Eighth Street, which is near Florida International University. Several vehicles were underneath the debris, but crews at the scene initially struggled to reach them because of concerns that the structure could collapse further.
Citing the Florida Highway Patrol, WSVN-TV reports that "several" people were killed.
It was not immediately clear if any workers were on the bridge at the time it collapsed.
The 950-ton bridge was just erected on Saturday as part of a project to improve safety for students who walk to FIU's campus. Renderings on the school's website depicted a massive concrete structure with fans, picnic tables, and benches atop the bridge, which spans 174 feet over nine lanes of traffic below.
The university issued a statement this afternoon promising to share updates as quickly as possible.
"We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information," the school said.
Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott and senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson also tweeted their sympathies, promising cooperation and investigations.
MCM, the Miami-based construction management firm who won the bridge contract, took its website down on Thursday. But an archived version of the website featured a news release touting the project.
"This our first Design-Build with FIGG Bridge Engineers, a nationally acclaimed, award-winning firm based out of Tallahassee. FIGG has designed iconic bridges all over the country, including Boston's famous Leonard P. Zakim Bridge and Florida's Sunshine Skyway Bridge."
After the collapse, FIGG issued a press release saying the firm was "stunned."
“Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident," FIGG Engineering wrote. "We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why. In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before. Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”
Stay with FOX for any updates.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.