FIU Bridge Collapse Caused By ‘Serious’ Safety Violations
The collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge on March 15, 2018 shocked Floridians and people all around the world. The still-under-construction bridge collapsed on Southwest Eighth Street in Miami, crushing seven vehicles that had been driving below. In total six people – five motorists and one worker – were killed, and five workers who had been on top of the bridge at the time of the collapse were seriously injured.
The incident was subsequently reviewed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) who cited the following five companies for worker-safety violations:
- FIGG Bridge Engineers (designers)
- Munilla Construction Management (builders)
- Bolton Perez & Associates (engineering and inspection services)
- Structural Technologies (post-tensioning)
- Structural Group of South Florida (concrete construction)
A statement issued by OHSA stated that “collectively, these employers failed to take appropriate action and provide the necessary protections to their employees while they were working on the bridge on the day it collapsed.”
OHSA was of the opinion that the workers should have been removed from the area as the bridge had developed cracks of a “significant width, depth and length at critical locations.” In addition, workers had not been provided with proper safety lines. If proper care and attention had been provided then it is likely that the five injured workers would not have suffered such significant injuries, and that the one worker who died would not have lost their life.
News Sources Release Pre-collapse Pictures of Severe Cracks in Bridge
Several news sources have released pictures taken in the days leading up to the collapse of the bridge that show severe cracks in the bridge’s structure. Despite this evidence of a potential collapse the project’s chief engineering team dismissed any safety concerns and ordered that construction was safe to continue.
The five companies were fined a total of $86,658, but further action against the potentially-liable companies may be forthcoming. The National Transportation Safety Board is also reviewing the incident, and criminal charges are possible although Florida law dictates that a “reckless disregard for human life” or “a grossly careless disregard for the safety and welfare of the public” will have to be proven.
If you or anyone you know was affected physically by the FIU bridge collapse, then Dr. Keren H. Gomez is here to help. Dr. Gomez runs an accident rehab clinic that will help you recovery from any physical mishap. You can contact Dr. Gomez at 305-761-6628 (Dade), 954-510-5518 (Broward) or 561-414-2401 (Palm Beach). You can also use the online contact form on our website if you’d prefer to reach out via email.