Bridge victim's grieving uncle lashes out at 'incompetence'
00:26, Mar 19, 2018
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A third vehicle was pulled from the debris later in the day, but police did not initially say whether they had found human remains inside.
Nelson asked. "If there was a two-hour meeting that occurred from 9 to 11, and the bridge collapsed. just a few hours later, then somebody needs to be held accountable".
NTSB officials have said it's too early to say whether any cracking contributed to the collapse. "It will take time for our community to heal".
In another development, Florida International University revealed that engineers talked about the structural integrity of the span hours before its collapse on Thursday and deemed it safe.
With at least eight vehicles still buried, the death toll is nearly certain to rise, said Juan Perez, the Miami-Dade Police Department director. Police said four vehicles are believed to be still under the collapsed bridge and more bodies may be recovered.
Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp cautioned Saturday that the final death toll won't be known until all the vehicles are removed.
The first victim identified was Duran, who was a student at FIU. The bridge, scheduled to open in 2019, was going to allow people to cross over busy 8th Street to Florida International University.
"It has been a laborious, tedious process to remove 950 tons of weight, of rubble, of pieces of concrete, from above those victims", Perez said.
Navaro Brown, who was working on the bridge, died at the hospital Thursday.
In addition to the six killed, at least 10 were injured.
Perez said authorities don't expect to find additional victims but will go through the rubble once more as a precaution.
Investigators are still trying to determine why the bridge failed.
Earlier Friday, Duran's best friend Richard Humble, a sophomore at Florida International University, told NBC's "Today" show that he and Duran had been at a red light and heard a creak above them moments before the vehicle got crushed.
Five people were recovered from underneath the bridge, and a sixth person died at a hospital, Perez said. Hernandez was in a gold Jeep Cherokee pulled from the rubble at 5:40 a.m. Saturday, and Gonzalez and Arias were in a white Chevrolet extricated at 7 a.m., police said.
A college student who narrowly escaped from a auto that got smashed in the collapse said he watched helplessly as the structure tumbled down atop the vehicle and killed his friend Alexa Duran, who was sitting next to him in the driver's seat.
"I believe that is the final count", said Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez.
The Florida Department of Transportation said Friday night that the lead engineer on the bridge project left a voicemail with the department on Tuesday saying that "some cracking that's been observed on the north end of the span", according to the department.
"At no point during their communications", the Transportation department said, "did Figg or any member of the F.I.U. design-build team ever communicate a life-safety issue".
In the case of the Florida tragedy, engineering experts said the question is where was the fatal mistake: in the design of the bridge, in the way its construction was carried out, or in the materials used?
Federal transportation safety officials said Friday night that don't know if any cracking was related to the collapse.
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