Bridge fall ‘felt as if there was an earthquake,’ witness says
WSVN-TV(MIAMI) — The afternoon rumbling sent Tiona Page running to her apartment window in Miami.
“It felt as if there was an earthquake,” Page told ABC News on Wednesday. “Me and my roommate jumped up and looked out.”
What Page saw from her 15th-floor window was a plume of rising dust. When it cleared, Page said, she saw the steel-and-concrete pedestrian bridge lying in pieces across busy 8th Street at Florida International University.
She could see slabs of concrete from the collapsed University City Bridge lying on top of smashed cars. Then, Page said, she heard piercing screams coming from one car with its back end smashed under concrete.
“The screams that were coming from the car were just terrifying,” Page said.
She said she immediately saw people who had been working on the bridge scrambling to get to people trapped in cars underneath the rubble.
“I watched two people had to have CPR done on them,” she said.
The bridge connecting Florida International University in Miami to the neighboring town of Sweetwater suddenly collapsed about 2 p.m.
Officials said there were multiple fatalities. The 950-ton, 174-foot span is a prefabricated structure that was erected in just a matter of hours on Saturday. The $14 million bridge wasn’t expected to be open until December, officials said.
ABC News producer Scott Whither was at the scene and said he could see at least four cars, including a minivan and a large panel truck, smashed under slabs of concrete.
Paramedics and rescue workers were seen digging through the rubble to find people possibly trapped in the debris.
One woman was seen on a stretcher sitting up and talking to paramedics, while another man was lying on a stretcher in a neck brace.
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