Rescuers recover all six victims in Florida bridge collapse

By Daniel Uria  |  March 18, 2018 at 1:27 PM
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March 18 (UPI) -- Rescue crews recovered the bodies of all six victims in a pedestrian bridge collapse in Florida, authorities said late Saturday.

Miami-Dade County Police said all victims trapped underneath the rubble of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed near Miami's Florida International University on Thursday have been accounted for.

"I believe that is the final count," Miami-Dade County Police Director Juan Perez said. "This ends with a tragedy of six. ... We are pretty confident that no one is left."

Police identified FIU student Alexa Duran, 18, early Sunday after firefighters recovered her gray Toyota 4Runner with her body inside at about 5:12 p.m. Saturday. Another unidentified victim was also recovered Saturday night.

The bodies of Rolando Fraga Hernandez, Oswald Gonzalez and Alberto Arias were also recovered from the rubble on Saturday morning.

A fourth victim , Navarro Brown, died after being transported to a hospital.

Authorities said six of the eight cars trapped underneath the collapsed bridge were "significantly entangled" and Miami-Dade County deputy mayor Maurice Kemp said rescuers' primary goal was to remove all victims and cars in a "dignified and respectful manner."

Four of the heavily trapped cars were removed on Saturday and Kemp said crews were working to remove the other two.

Rescuers held a moment of silence for the victims of the bridge collapse Saturday, according to Perez.

"We asked them to pause so we could pray over every victim," he said.

FIU released a statement Saturday revealing the Florida Department of Transportation was aware of a crack in the pedestrian bridge due to a voice mail from, Denney Pate, a lead engineer with the FIGG Bridge Group, two days before it collapsed.

FDOT officials said the agency would likely have issued a permit for a partial or full closing of the road under the bridge if FIU had notified the agency of plans to conduct stress testing.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation to "pinpoint where was the mistake and/or the failure that led to this catastrophic event" will continue for months Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said.

"That is something that the community needs, the families need, the country needs to make sure it never happens again," Rubio said.

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