The new pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami—killing at least six people—had been undergoing work when the 900-ton concrete span crumbled onto the road below, elected officials said Friday.
Lawmakers provided differing accounts of what was happening on the bridge when it collapsed Thursday, leaving among the dead a Florida International University student and a contract employee working at the site. On Friday, rescuers continued sifting through the rubble in search of victims.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) wrote on Twitter that the engineering firm building the bridge at Florida International University ordered on Thursday that the cables be tightened. “They were being tightened when it collapsed,” he wrote late Thursday.
Other elected officials, including the Miami-Dade County mayor, said they had been informed that a stress test was being conducted at the time of the collapse. University officials didn’t respond to a request for comment.
It wasn’t clear why officials allowed the eight-lane state road underneath the bridge to remain open during the time of the work, or why this work wasn’t scheduled for night hours, when there is little traffic.
“If it’s a critical stage in the construction, why would you keep traffic going under the bridge during that particular step?” said Ted Krauthammer, a University of Florida civil engineering professor who said he didn’t have direct knowledge of the incident.
The Florida Department of Transportation…