People are still desperately trying to confirm whether their relatives were among those injured or killed in the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse a day after the incident took place.
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.
The bridge was installed at Southwest 109th Avenue Saturday morning, intended eventually to provide pedestrian access across Tamiami Trail from FIU's main campus to Sweetwater, where thousands of students live in off-campus housing or in FIU's newer dorms.
Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez praised the actions of first responders during a news conference but acknowledged the likelihood of finding more victims under the rubble was growing more hard with the passage of time. Officials were reportedly still searching for more victims and weren't sure if people were still trapped beneath the rubble. Alvaro Alvaro Zabaleta says the operation has turned from rescue to recovery.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was sending a team to investigate the bridge collapse. Anitere Flores, R-Miami. "My prayers continue for the victims and families of the Florida International University bridge collapse".
Plans for the bridge included a tower and cables attached to the walkway, but a week ago, the university and its builders celebrated the installation of the pedestrian span and the "accelerated bridge construction" method - partly developed at the school.
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Authorities said the bridge was undergoing a "stress test" when it failed.
"This bridge was about goodness, not sadness", said FIU President Mark Rosenberg.
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. Apparently, vehicles were stopped at a red light when the 950-ton bridge crashed down around 1:30 p.m.
Carlos Giménez, the Miami-Dade mayor, said he believed MCM workers were conducting a stress test on the bridge when it collapsed, while Florida's junior U.S. senator, Marco Rubio, tweeted that support cables were being tightened.
"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. "I don't have words for that", Carol Fraga said through tears.
And in 2012, WAVY reported that a piece of concrete fell from the Jordan Bridge onto the railroad tracks below, hurting 4 people.
The university had touted the bridge as a "first-of-its-kind" structure.
MCM, the company that built the bridge offsite and transported it to FIU, said it's cooperating with federal investigators.