Jamaican identified among six killed in Florida bridge collapse

Carla Harmon
March 17, 2018

In response to the tragedy, the company said in a written statement that it was "fully cooperating" with a National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the bridge collapse at Florida International University.

Authorities who have been working non-stop to reach and recover victims said that the cables suspending the pedestrian bridge were being tightened after a "stress test" when the 950-ton concrete span collapsed over traffic, killing the six people only days after it was installation.

The confirmation of a project meeting hours before the collapse raises the question of what - if any - action was ordered out of the gathering, and whether participants discussed the need to close the roadway beneath the bridge as a result of any action plan.

The bridge was not open for pedestrians yet but it was deemed safe enough for people to drive underneath it.

"Our mission is to find out not only what happened - we know what happened, the bridge collapsed", he said.

Last weekend, FIU tweeted a photo of what the completed bridge would look like.


Andrew Herman, a former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, told USA Today that it seemed the builders did not follow the proper sequence in putting the bridge up.

The bridge had only two beams at each end.

She called the collapse an "unprecedented event" and wrote that "no other bridge designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers has ever experienced such a collapse".

The three bodies were among the six fatalities believed to have occurred in the collapse Thursday afternoon, but authorities said that number could rise as vehicles are removed.

Meanwhile, teams of rescue workers and engineers with heavy lifting equipment began the slow and unsafe task of lifting the unstable remains of the 950-ton concrete structure from vehicles that were crushed when the bridge came down early on Thursday afternoon.

(Credit: Hoo-Me.com / MediaPunch/IPX).


The Florida Department of Transportation released a transcript of a voicemail left on Tuesday March 13, by W. Denney Pate, lead engineer with FIGG Bridge Engineers, a Tallahassee firm.

"The responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the FIU design build team", the transportation department said. Two workers were on the bridge when it collapsed, according to witnesses interviewed by the Miami Herald.

His first priority was clearing the area and getting the dead to their families.

VSL Structural Technologies is a concrete support supplier and installer whose product was used during construction, Biesiada said.

FIGG was fined in 2012 after a section of a bridge it was building in Virginia fell and injured several workers. Federal contract data shows that since 2013, MCM has been awarded about $130 million worth of contracts from the Army and Navy for various construction, maintenance and fix projects.


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