At least six dead after pedestrian bridge collapses on cars in Florida

First responders were looking for survivors after a pedestrian bridge collapsed in Miami on Thursday, a week after being installed.

Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said at an early morning press conference Friday that six people had been declared dead in the incident.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan had told reporters earlier in the day that there were eight cars trapped under the bridge and eight people were transported to hospitals.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it would begin investigating, sending a "multi-disciplinary team" of more than a dozen officials from a variety of backgrounds including civil engineers and crisis response experts to examine the scene.

The White House said President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE was aware of the bridge collapse, and he tweeted that he was monitoring the "heartbreaking" situation.

"Our brave first responders are working feverishly to save lives. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and offer whatever support is needed to the local officials and community," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The bridge connected the Florida International University (FIU) campus to the city of Sweetwater.

The $14.2 million bridge was recently erected using new, modular construction methods, and most of the bridge was put into place on Saturday. The bridge was built elsewhere and its installation was the first time a bridge this large was installed using that method, according to the local ABC affiliate.

“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," a spokesperson for the university said. "We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”

In a statement, Figg Bridge Engineers said it was "stunned" by the collapse. 

“Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident. 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,” the company said.

Several Florida lawmakers, including Gov. Rick Scott (R), Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio: Trump's remarks on Russian election meddling 'not accurate' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Scottish beer company offering ‘tiny cans’ for Trump’s ‘tiny hands’ MORE (R) and Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-Balart'Minibus' spending conference committee abruptly canceled Trump vows to stand with House GOP '1,000 percent' on immigration Trump immigration comments spark chaos in GOP MORE (R), who represents most of Miami-Dade County, tweeted in response to the situation.

– Mallory Shelbourne contributed 

Updated Friday at 7:34 a.m.