SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) — Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg says his university and a neighboring community were celebrating the campus’ new pedestrian bridge less than a week ago.
WATCH FIU PRESIDENT MARK ROSENBERG HERE
“This bridge 5 days ago we were celebrating,” said Rosenberg. “This bridge was about collaboration, it was about hope, was about opportunity, it was about determination and it was about strength and unity. It was about being good neighbors with the city of Sweetwater. This bridge was about goodness, not sadness. Now we’re feeling immense sadness, uncontrollable sadness. And our hearts go out to all those affected, their friends and their families.”
Authorities say the bridge was an innovative university project designed to link its campus with the nearby community of Sweetwater.
Rosenberg spoke at a news conference Thursday evening with fire and law enforcement authorities and political leaders. He adds the university is committed to assisting in all efforts to overcome the tragic bridge collapse earlier Thursday.
Meantime, Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey has confirmed at least four people died in the collapse.
WATCH MDFR CHIEF DAVE DOWNEY HERE
He says his crew is using high-tech listening devices, trained sniffing dogs, search cameras and other equipment in the frantic race to find any survivors still trapped in the rubble.
Downey said “search and rescue mode” is continuing. He says his crews have traveled to building collapses elsewhere in the world but now are working as fast as they can.
“We have to remove some of this piece by piece. It’s very unstable.” Aerial footage at the site showed a trained dog running atop fallen concrete and sniffing in the crevices for any victims.
WATCH SEN. MARCO RUBIO HERE
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida joined first responders and Gov. Rick Scott at the briefing. He says he lamented the “tragic accident” and noted the pedestrian bridge was intended to be an innovative and “one-of-a-kind engineering designed.
He says the public and the families of the dead and injured deserve to know “what went wrong.”
WATCH GOV. RICK SCOTT HERE
Gov. Rick Scott also spoke to reporters, saying “everybody is working hard to make sure we rescue anyone who can be rescued.” The Florida governor adds that an investigation will get to the bottom of “why this happened and what happened.” He adds that if anyone had done anything wrong, “we will hold them accountable.”