Officials identify 4 victims killed in Miami bridge collapse

The bridge collapsed on March 15 killing six people

The bridge collapsed on March 15 killing six people

Police in Miami say they have now recovered all six victims from the collapse of a planned pedestrian bridge that was to connect Florida International university to the city of Sweetwater.

At a news conference Saturday, Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez said emergency workers were "chipping away" at the piles of debris at the site of the bridge, which was still under construction when it fell.

"We asked them to pause so we could pray over every victim", Perez said.

With at least eight vehicles still buried, the death toll is nearly certain to rise, said Juan Perez, the Miami-Dade Police Department director.

Although authorities had said at one point that the number of fatalities could rise beyond six, they said at a 10 p.m. briefing that they thought they had accounted for all of the dead. "We are pretty confident that no one is left".

Maurice Kemp, deputy mayor of Miami-Dade County, said the primary goal was to remove all victims and cars in a "dignified and respectful manner".

A fifth victim, 18-year-old Alexa Duran, was identified by her family. Joe Smitha wondered. "Then they made a decision to stress test this bridge while traffic was running underneath it?"

A total of eight cars were trapped under the bridge after it crumbled, including six that were "significantly entangled", authorities said. Another fourth victim, who died in hospital was identified by the police as Navarro Brown.

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Two days before the span fell, a FIGG engineer called a FDOT employee to warn of "some cracking".

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who has taught at FIU as an adjunct professor, said Saturday night that a thorough investigation was underway to determine what went wrong. "It's like still a flimsy structure". You can speculate all you want", Gordon said, adding, "If the crack was near the truss member that they were tightening, then that obviously might not have been a good idea to be doing work near that crack.

"I looked up, and in an instant, the bridge was collapsing on us completely". This effort is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in a full and comprehensive investigation. During the conversation, the engineer said there were "no safety concerns" and that "the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge". It was convened by FIGG and Munilla Construction Management (MCM), which built the bridge, "to discuss a crack that appeared on the structure", the university said.

The brutal tragedy occurred just after three hours post meeting.

NTSB officials have said it's too early to say whether any cracking contributed to the collapse. Unlike traditional methods of construction, it streamlines the building process so that bridge projects can be completed quicker and more cost effectively. If the pylon and stays had been in place, the structure may have had redundant support to keep it stable even if another structural element failed - during cable tensioning, for instance. However, a spokesman for FIGG said Saturday the bridge that was being built actually had built-in trusses. He said he was traveling in London at the time of his daughter's death. He said these projects are constructed with "very specific sequencing" and phases.

"I am really puzzled that the tower does not exist", Aref said. "But I'm trying not to think he isn't there".

Smitha, a 55-year-old auto parts manager, had spent the night in his truck after making the four-hour drive from Palm Harbor, Florida, fitfully mourning Duran, a freshman at the university.

"This was a colossal failure of the system", he said.

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