March 18 (UPI) — Rescue crews recovered the bodies of all six victims in a pedestrian bridge collapse in Florida, authorities said late Saturday.
Miami-Dade County Police said all victims trapped underneath the rubble of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed near Miami’s Florida International University on Thursday have been accounted for.
“I believe that is the final count,” Miami-Dade County Police Director Juan Perez said. “This ends with a tragedy of six. … We are pretty confident that no one is left.”
Police identified FIU student Alexa Duran, 18, early Sunday after firefighters recovered her gray Toyota 4Runner with her body inside at about 5:12 p.m. Saturday. Another unidentified victim was also recovered Saturday night.
The bodies of Rolando Fraga Hernandez, Oswald Gonzalez and Alberto Arias were also recovered from the rubble on Saturday morning.
A fourth victim, Navarro Brown, died after being transported to a hospital.
Authorities said six of the eight cars trapped underneath the collapsed bridge were “significantly entangled” and Miami-Dade County deputy mayor Maurice Kemp said rescuers’ primary goal was to remove all victims and cars in a “dignified and respectful manner.”
Four of the heavily trapped cars were removed on Saturday and Kemp said crews were working to remove the other two.
Rescuers held a moment of silence for the victims of the bridge collapse Saturday, according to Perez.
“We asked them to pause so we could pray over every victim,” he said.
FIU released a statement Saturday revealing the Florida Department of Transportation was aware of a crack in the pedestrian bridge due to a voice mail from, Denney Pate, a lead engineer with the FIGG Bridge Group, two days before it collapsed.
FDOT officials said the agency would likely have issued a permit for a partial or full closing of the road under the bridge if FIU had notified the agency of plans to conduct stress testing.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigation to “pinpoint where was the mistake and/or the failure that led to this catastrophic event” will continue for months Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said.
“That is something that the community needs, the families need, the country needs to make sure it never happens again,” Rubio said.