Miami-Dade County

Video shows rescue workers beginning to free vehicles from under collapsed FIU bridge

Shortly before dawn on Saturday, rescue workers began freeing vehicles from under the collapsed concrete bridge at Florida International University, a milestone in the two-day, around-the-clock extraction effort.

The removal of two crushed vehicles before 7 a.m. followed workers creating space below the concrete, using massive inflatable straps. Authorities have already said there are no more survivors in the catastrophe, with six declared deaths.

The first vehicle — a crushed Jeep Grand Cherokee — emerged after 6 a.m.

About an hour later, under the glare of spotlights from above, a second vehicle emerged, almost entirely flattened.

As the sun came up, the force of the 950-ton bridge that collapsed on traffic was revealed. A crane lowering the flattened vehicle onto a tow truck for a slow, respectful ride to the county medical examiner’s office. The chassis was almost gone, with only the wheels still recognizable.

The bridge crushed at least eight vehicles beneath it. Rescue workers have spent nearly two days trying to break down and remove the concrete to get to the vehicles in order to positively identify the victims and finalize the death count.

Wreckage continued to shift Thursday and Friday, with work stopping as settling concrete raised concerns over potential injuries to crew members assigned by the county to remove the rubble and reach bodies trapped inside.

After the extractions, a motorcade led by two police officers on motorcycles escorted the pair of trucks to the medical examiner’s office near Jackson Memorial Hospital.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the owner of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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