Questions continue to linger in aftermath of FIU bridge collapse

Courtesy AP

Courtesy AP

The president of the university is asking people around the country to hold a moment of silence at 1:47 p.m. when they observe the time the bridge fell. "How could this happen?" asked Matt Morgan, attorney who represents a client who was injured in the collapse. Figg Bridge Engineers knew that there was cracking evident, but nothing was done to try to correct the issue before it collapsed. Six others were killed.

Workers search the site of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University last week, just days after it was installed over southwest 8th Street in Miami, Florida. Those killed were Rolando Fraga, 60, Oswald Gonzalez, 57, Alberto Arias, 53, Alexa Duran, 18, Navaro Brown, 37, and Brandon Brownfield, 39.

It swiftly went up in six hours under the "accelerated bridge construction" method, although the entire project wasn't to be completed until 2019.

The statements included confirmation that a meeting about a crack on the bridge had been held shortly before the failure, but had concluded that safety was not compromised.

FIU's statement followed the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT) revelation on the Friday night that the bridge's lead engineer, an employee of the bridge's designer, FIGG, had warned of cracking on the north end of the span by telephone two days before the collapse, but his voicemail was not heard by the intended FDOT employee until the day after the collapse. There is no clear indication as to what exactly caused the collapse. The voicemail wasn't picked up until after the collapse, however.

On March 12, the company tweeted a photo of the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, and captioned it, "We are thrilled to have performed structural monitoring during a spectacular bridge move by [Barnhart Crane] at [Florida International University, Miami]".

The negligence lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the entities involved in building the bridge.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the tightening of the bridge's inner cables could have contributed to the collapse. Our priority focus continues to place sympathies for the victims at the forefront of our thoughts.

But aside from that, and this is truly unbelievable, Munilla Construction Management (MCM), a Cuban-American, family-owned company founded in 1983 had been sued for faulty work before. We have a sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of this accident, and we are cooperating and assisting with authorities.

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