Multiple people killed in pedestrian bridge collapse at university in Miami

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Multiple people have died as a result of a pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in Miami, according to a spokesman with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Multiple agencies have responded to the scene.

Lt. Alejandro Camacho, the Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, said “five to six vehicles” were crushed underneath the bridge. A spokeswoman with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue told CNN there were multiple injuries.

The bridge was just installed Saturday. A tactical response team with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is working to secure the structure while searching for victims, the agency said on its Twitter account.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was briefed on the incident by Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez, according to a schedule released by his office. He will be on the school’s campus this evening to speak with local law enforcement and university officials, his office said.

“We heard a loud bang behind us … and we looked back and the bridge had completely collapsed,” said Isabella Carrasco, a student at the University of Miami, who had just passed underneath the bridge in a car. Doctors and medical students ran to the scene from a nearby building and started giving medical attention to victims, she said.

Carrasco said she saw at least five or six cars completely 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.”

Ricardo Dejo, an FIU civil engineering student, told CNN he saw cars pinned beneath the bridge. “I can’t describe it,” Dejo said. “We were really excited about the bridge (before the crash). Everything looked fine. I went underneath it with my own car and it looked great.”

In a statement, the university said it was “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,” the statement continued. “We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”

According to a fact sheet about the bridge on FIU’s website, it cost $14.2 million to build and was funded as part of a $19.4 million grant from the US Department of Transportation.

It was designed to withstand the strength of a Category 5 hurricane, the fact sheet said, and was supposed to last for more than 100 years.