Death toll rises to six after new pedestrian bridge collapses near Miami, crushing cars underneath

MIAMI — Authorities announced Friday that the death toll has risen to six after a pedestrian bridge hailed for a novel construction method collapsed Thursday over a busy road west of Miami, crushing eight vehicles and leaving rescue workers racing to free victims from chunks of concrete and snapped metal.

Survivors were taken to hospitals, a fire department official said. Vehicles were stopped at a red light when the bridge, which weighed more than 950 tons, crashed down about 1:30 p.m.

The bridge was designed to connect the city of Sweetwater with the sprawling campus of Florida International University, and to make it safer for students to cross a frenetic roadway.

“It was going to be a significant project,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday night. “To see it on the ground and underneath it those who died and who were injured is a tragedy.”

He said the cause of the collapse will be fully investigated. “The victims and their families deserve to know what went wrong. There will be an extraordinary review into what the errors were and what led to this catastrophic collapse,” Rubio said.

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