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Authorities confirm at least four killed by collapsed bridge in Miami

Miami (USA) / Florida authorities confirmed Thursday that at least four people have died and an undetermined number of people have been injured following the collapse of a newly installed pedestrian bridge over the city’s famous eighth street.

At a press conference Thursday night, Miami-Dade County Fire Department Chief David Downey confirmed that the “tragic event” claimed the lives of four people and that nine others have been transferred to local hospitals, but did not elaborate further on the condition of the victims.

The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, said during the press conference that a “full investigation” of the event will be conducted and that, if necessary, charges will be filed against those responsible.

Scott added that “everyone is working hard to make sure we rescue anyone who can be rescued.”

Downey said that the “search and rescue mode” would continue overnight with support from technical equipment as well as trained rescue dogs to search for survivors under the rubble.

“We have to remove some of this piece by piece. It’s very unstable,” the fire department chief added.

Aerial images published on Twitter by the Miami-Dade Rescue Department show crews working on the concrete remains of the bridge, accompanied by K-9 dogs searching for possible survivors.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was also present at the press conference, labeled the incident as a “tragic event”, especially since “ironically it’s a project designed for safety,” of the pedestrians who need to cross the busy 8th Street.

At a press conference from Washington DC, the chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Robert Sumwalt, said that his agency has sent a team to Miami to investigate the incident.

He added that the NTSB was not aware of any deficiency in this type of bridge, but that if the investigations reflect anything in this line of thought, it has the power to issue “urgent recommendations”.

The purpose of the pedestrian bridge was to connect student apartment buildings in the suburb of Sweetwater, where at least 4,000 students live, with the main campus of the Florida International University (FIU).

The construction of the bridge began in the spring of 2017, and it was expected to be completed by the beginning of 2019. The bridge was lifted onto the pillars on Mar 10.

The 14.2 million dollars bridge was constructed using the so-called “Accelerated Bridge Construction method,” which FIU said would reduce ” potential risks to workers, commuters and pedestrians and minimizes traffic interruptions.”

As FUI students need to cross the eight-lane highway to get to the campus, this project was intended to protect them from road accidents, like one that happened last August when a young woman died.

Mark McKenney, chief surgeon of the Kendall Regional Medical Center, told media that ten people were transferred to his center, two of them in critical condition, one of which arrived with a cardiac arrest. (March 15, 2018, EFE/Practica Español)

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Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read and answer the questions)

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Question 1
En la noticia se dice que…
de momento no hay ninguna víctima mortal a causa del derrumbe de un puente.
más de una decena de personas han resultado heridas a causa del derrumbe de un puente.
varias personas han fallecido a causa del derrumbe de un puente.
Question 2
Según el texto, este hecho tuvo lugar…
en una ciudad situada en la costa oeste de EE.UU.
en una ciudad situada en la costa este de EE.UU.
en la capital de EE.UU.
Question 3
Este puente está ubicado en una zona…
en la que a penas transitan estudiantes.
que es muy transitada por los estudiantes de la zona.
que está muy alejada de la universidad de la ciudad.
Question 4
Según el texto…
el puente se derrumbó antes de que terminara de ser construido.
el accidente se produjo antes de que comenzaran los trabajos de construcción del puente.
el puente se derrumbó después de que terminaran los trabajos de construcción.
Question 5
Marco Rubio afirmó que…
ese puente fue construido para que las personas transitaran con más seguridad por la zona.
la construcción de ese puente fue innecesaria.
ese puente no fue construido para que la zona fuera más segura.
Question 6
Según el texto, R. Scott aseguró que se han presentado cargos contra los responsables.
Nadie lo sabe.
En absoluto.
Así es.
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