First responders started pulling cars and bodies from the rubble of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse early Saturday morning, and officials hope to have all victims removed by the end of the day.
So far, Miami-Dade Police Chief Juan Perez said Saturday morning, workers have retrieved two cars for a total of three bodies. Another victim died at the hospital Thursday afternoon, putting the total of bodies pulled free of the debris at four of the six known dead.
“We may find more victims than initially expected,” Miami-Dade Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp told reporters.
Perez said there were eight cars trapped beneath the 950-ton bridge when it collapsed. Two were easily freed early on in the search and rescue process, and two more were freed early Saturday morning. Officials were working on freeing another two as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
First responders held a moment of silence for each body when it was removed from the remains of the bridge, after which the bodies were taken to the medical examiner’s office “so we can have 100 percent confirmation of the identifications so we can have some closure for the family,” Perez said.
He said the crews hope to have every body removed by the end of the day Saturday, “but no guarantees. It’s going to be a long process.”
FIU President Mark Rosenberg would not comment on the controversy over a voice mail an engineer on the project left with a Florida Department of Transportation official Tuesday afternoon regarding cracking on the bridge.
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities in this investigation,” he said.