Florida International University officials said they knew about the crack in the pedestrian bridge just a few days before it collapsed.
The university released a statement on Saturday that the school had met with the state Department of Transportation and engineers to talk about the safety of the bridge, the Miami Herald first reported. During the conversation, the engineer said there were “no safety concerns” and that “the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.”
“The FIGG engineer of record delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge,” the statement read. “This meeting lasted approximately two hours and included FIU and FDOT representatives.”
The news of the meeting comes just a day after Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials said an engineer the university hired had called the department days before the bridge crumbled on March 15 to mark the crack but didn’t believe it was a safety concern.
On Friday, National Transportation Safety Board Chief Investigator Robert Accetta said that it was too early in the investigation to confirm that the cracks were the reason the FIU bridge collapsed.
“I would have to say that a crack in the bridge does not necessarily mean it’s unsafe,” he told reporters. “That’s still too early in the investigation for us to determine.”
The new pedestrian bridge fell onto a busy road in Miami on Thursday, which killed at least six people and injured several others. The death toll is expected to rise. Three more bodies were found in the debris on Saturday, ABC10 News reported.
The $14.2 million bridge weighed 950 tons and connected the university campus to the city of Sweetwater in an effort to provide students with a safer way to cross the busy road.
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