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FIU bridge collapses; the fatalities reported, Florida officials say

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Sen. Bill Nelson: 6-10 deaths of FOREIGN bridge collapse

After a pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University, Florida Senator Bill Nelson tells what he hears from the government.

Number of deaths were reported after a newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University Thursday collapsed, leaving eight vehicles are trapped under the big wreck.

Florida Highway Patrol confirmed to Fox News there were a number of fatalities after the structure, the so-called “Instant Bridge,” collapsed just around 1:30 a.m. in the Miami-area university.

my school is finished with the hanging of a bridge a few days ago and it literally fell. my roommate and I heard it from our rooms and walked out to the balcony pic.twitter.com/JOtoLuC3Qs

— ? (@Ialilulelo) March 15, 2018

Officials said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that eight victims were transported to nearby hospitals, but further details are not immediately clear.

#BREAKINGNEWS pedestrian bridge in FIE Collapsed. Stay away from the area as First Responders try to help the victims caught.@nbc6 is the following. pic.twitter.com/WoF4FfbY2I

— Raf Perez (@Rafters056) March 15, 2018

A search and rescue operation is under way in the area, and authorities are using dogs to search for anyone who may be trapped under the rubble.

The Miami police were told Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was repaired, six people with injuries, Fox News confirmed.

(WSVN)

Sweetwater Police told Fox News: “We are just trying to save lives.” Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez called the incident a “national tragedy.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted he is on his way to the university, “to be informed by the local police and the university officials,” and said that he will “be in constant communication with the enforcement of the law during the day.” Florida Sen. Bill Nelson tweeted his “heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by this tragic bridge collapse @FIU.”

I’m on my way to Florida International University to be informed by the local police and university officials. pic.twitter.com/4RyoeELh9m

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) March 15, 2018

I have spoken with Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez about the bridge collapse at the FIU. I will be in constant communication with the enforcement of the law during the day.

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) March 15, 2018

See a video of several people being loaded in ambulances. Several doctors and nurses were also called to the scene to help those injured.

The bridge, which is expected to be completed in the beginning of 2019, was the link to the university’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus to the city of Sweetwater, where an estimated 4000 students attend, the Miami Herald reported. A $14.2 million project, the structure was installed on Saturday, with many celebrating the new construction.

First-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge “swings” into place. “FIU is about building bridges and student safety. This project accomplishes our mission beautifully,” President Mark B. Rosenberg. https://t.co/x8gPM9A4DG #worldsahead pic.twitter.com/mPEMeh2zmw

— FIU (@FIU) March 10, 2018

The university called it a “one-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge that” swings” into place.

“FIU is about building bridges and student safety. This project accomplishes our mission beautifully,” President Mark B. Rosenberg said, according to a tweet by FIU.

The U.S. Department of Transportation in a statement said Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has been in contact with Congress officials and has offered the full cooperation and support of the Department in both the short and long-term needs of the community will have.”

Munilla Construction, the company that built the bridge, tweeted earlier Thursday that “the local community together on Saturday to watch the bridge move into place. In a follow-up tweet, the company called the bridge collapse a “terrible tragedy” and said that the family “is devastated and will do everything we can to help.”

My heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by this tragic bridge collapse @FIU.

— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) On March 15, 2018

The construction company added, will collaborate with researchers “in every way.”

FIGG Engineering, the company that the bridge, said that in their “40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened.” FIGG added the company “will fully cooperate with each competent authority in the review of what happened and why.”

pic.twitter.com/ehWhNcJd5d

— Munilla Construction (@WeAreMCM) March 15, 2018

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a team to investigate the collapse.

Fox News’ Shira Bush contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah cover breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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