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"Instant Bridge" Collapses in Florida Killing at Least Four People

Horrific scenes of a bridge collapse at Florida International University (FIU) tells the story of at least four people killed today (March 15, 2018) beneath the tons of concrete and twisted metal, according to authorities at the scene in Miami, Florida. 

In what is being described as an "instant bridge" that was completed less than a week ago, now comes news that the bridge at an overpass at the college outside Miami collapsed Thursday afternoon, landing on several vehicles below.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were immediately en route to begin looking into the probable cause of the incident that officials are saying may have killed as many as 10 people. The search for survivors continues beneath the rubble. Ten people reportedly were taken to area hospitals. Students were on spring break at the time of the incident. 

The 174-foot middle portion of the bridge was erected over the last seven months on the side of the road and just last Saturday was put into place by huge rigs in six hours. Bridges have been constructed in this way in the past several years in order to avoid less disruption of traffic. In this instance, the 4,000 students at FIU were using the bridge to get from campus to the town of Sweetwater over the eight-lane Tamiami Trail.

Witnesses said it sounded like an explosion when the 950-ton bridge went down in what seemed like an instant. Search and rescue efforts with dogs and cranes was expected to continue throughout the night.

The tragic collapse brings into question the way that the bridge was designed and constructed as well as how it was put into place - a method known as Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) that allows bridge construction projects to be completed more quickly. Parts of the bridge reportedly are prefabricated and put together at a different sight. The cost of the bridge is reported to be $14.2 million.

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