On Thursday, March 15th, a pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The bridge weighed 950 tons and fell across a six-lane highway, crushing several cars, killing six people, and injuring 10. It was built to help FIU students safely cross from the campus to Sweetwater, a nearby neighborhood with dormitories and off-campus housing. As we learn more about this tragic event, you might be wondering: How common are bridge collapses? Sadly, they’re more common than you think.
The FIU pedestrian bridge collapse is not the first bridge collapse of 2018. Back in January, the Chirajara bridge near Bogota, Colombia collapsed, killing 10 construction workers and injuring six. There were nine bridge collapses in 2017, ranging from a bridge collapse on the freeway in Atlanta that injured nobody to a bridge collapse in Goa that killed two people. And there were seven bridge collapses in 2016, including the Vivekananda Flyover Bridge collapse in Kolkata that killed 26 people and injured over 80.
FIGG Engineering, the group behind the FIU pedestrian bridge project along with Munilla Construction Management (MCM), released a statement about the fallen bridge.
“In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before. Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”
Bystanders captured chilling photos and videos of the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that the bridge’s cables had loosened and needed tightening.
Our hearts are with everyone affected by this devastating tragedy.