Bridge worker among six dead in collapse near FIU

An employee working on-site has been identified as one of the six people killed after a pedestrian bridge designed to connect Florida International University to a nearby Miami suburb collapsed onto the busy highway below.

Structural Technologies VSL, a company offering products to strengthen bridges, said 37-year-old Navaro Brown died in the collapse Thursday. Two other employees remain hospitalized at Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami, spokesman Michael Biesiada told the Miami Herald.

They were both in stable condition Saturday morning.

Biesiada declined to discuss what Brown and the other employees were doing on the bridge at the time of the collapse, but confirmed Structural Technologies VSL was working on the project, “providing installation support for our products.”

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A Florida International University freshman was also killed when the 950-ton bridge crumbled to the ground Thursday, her family confirmed.

Alexa Duran was driving her friend, Richard Humble, to the doctor when the bridge collapsed on top of her gray Toyota SUV.

Humble managed to escape the car with minimal injuries, but his 18-year-old pal remained among the slabs of broken concrete and rubble.

“My little girl was trapped in the car and couldn’t get out. She died when the bridge collapsed on top of her,” her heart-broken father, Orlando Duran said.

Rescue workers just after 6 a.m. on Saturday pulled Duran’s flattened jeep from the rubble and managed to remove a second car — also completely crushed — about an hour later.

The remaining victims have not yet been identified.

Authorities recently announced they do not believe there are any more survivors trapped under the remains of the bridge. Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey said Friday morning they’d exhausted all their search and rescue capabilities and have instead shifted to recovery efforts.

The $14.2 million construction project, funded by the Department of Transportation, was intended to offer a safer route to Florida International University students and staff traveling between campus and the nearby city of Sweetwater.

Those making the commute currently have to cross over seven lanes of traffic when going to and from campus.