A footbridge connecting a university campus to Sweetwater in south Florida has collapsed less than a week after being erected over an eight-lane highway.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on March 16, 2018

A newly constructed pedestrian bridge has collapsed in Florida killing up to 10 people.

At approximately 1.45pm local time, the footbridge spanning an eight-lane highway and connecting Florida International University (FIU) with the city of Sweetwater, gave way causing terrible destruction on one of South Florida’s busiest roads.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho told CBS News there were “several fatalities” resulting from the collapse, and reports are circulating that eight cars are still trapped under the rubble.

Eight people have also been taken to Kendall Regional Medical Centre, their conditions have not been revealed.

According to ABC News, the walkway — which cost $18.2 million, was 53 metres long and weighed 950 tons — was only moved into place on Saturday.

“Me and my boyfriend had just driven under the bridge,” witness Isabella Carrasco told CBSN.

“We actually commented on how new it was… We had heard a loud bang. At first, we thought we had hit something, and when we looked around, we realised the bridge had collapsed on multiple cars. I didn’t see any pedestrians walking on the bridge. When we looked around we saw that it was much, much worse.

“So many people go through this particular intersection every day, so it’s very terrifying.”

FIU students are currently on spring break, reducing the amount of foot traffic on the bridge.

Sweetman Mayor Orlando Lopez described the collapse as a “national tragedy”.

“This soon-to-be iconic, staple part in the connectivity between the city and the university, has actually turned out to be a national tragedy,” he said.

Munilla Construction Management (MCM) — the company that was hired to build the bridge — tweeted a statement in response to the collapse that reads in part: “Our family’s thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.”