Hours after the bridge collapsed, a city official said early Friday that the rescue mission is now a search and recovery effort.
At least nine people were transported to hospitals for treatment, authorities said.
Witnesses described hearing a loud boom and moments later, finding victims, including construction workers across the wreckage and people trapped in cars.
The bridge’s span had just been installed Saturday near the university in Miami.
• Four deceased victims were located but have not been identified, Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey.
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the state will determine whether any wrongdoing led to the collapse and, if so, people would be held accountable.
• FIU president Mark Rosenberg said the university followed all the processes required during the building of the bridge, and all contractors are certified by the state.
Witness: ‘Sounded like the world was ending’
Witnesses described a confusing and horrifying scene.
Giovanni Hernandez said it “sounded like a bomb, like multiple bombs in one.”
After seeing the collapse, she sprang into action and found four injured construction workers.
Doctors and medical students ran to the scene from a nearby building and started giving medical attention to victims, said Isabella Carrasco, a student at the University of Miami, who had just passed underneath the bridge in a car.
Carrasco said she saw at least five or six cars crushed beneath the bridge.
“Someone on the side of the road had asked a police officer if she had heard any response from the people inside the car,” Carrasco said, “and she shook her head and said no.”
Bridge was still under construction
The bridge was scheduled to open to foot traffic and cyclists in 2019, and boost safety on a busy street where an FIU student was fatally struck by a vehicle last year.
“It is exactly the opposite of what we had intended and we want to express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of those who have been affected,” FIU President Mark Rosenberg said in a video.
“The bridge was about collaboration, about neighborliness, about doing the right thing but today we’re sad. And all we can do is promise a very thorough investigation, to getting to the bottom of this and mourn those who we have lost.”
Who was building the bridge?
Companies involved in the bridge construction expressed sympathy for the victims and pledged to find out what happened.
MCM, one of the companies, said in a statement it would “conduct a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong and will cooperate with investigators on scene in every way.”
Another company, FIGG Bridge Engineers, which designed the pedestrian bridge stated: “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.”
Bolton Perez and Associates, a third company involved in the construction of the bridge, is not commenting at this time.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the federal inquiry.
CNN’s Dakin Andone, Deanna Hackney, Amanda Watts, Justin Lear, Rene Marsh, Jamiel Lynch, Chris Boyette and Keith Allen contributed to this report.
Source : CNN