At least four killed after pedestrian bridge at Florida college collapses

first_imgGabrielaRose12/Twitter(MIAMI) — A newly installed bridge touted as a feat of engineering collapsed on Florida International University’s campus on Thursday, killing at least four people.Aerial footage showed first responders tending to victims at the scene, searching for people in the rubble, and loading others on stretchers and into ambulances. They were able to pull at least two people who were trapped, officials said.The collapse occurred at about 1:30 p.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.As of 5 p.m., a minimum of eight vehicles were trapped under the rubble, and eight people had been taken to the hospital, Estopinan said. Some workers were on the bridge when it collapsed, but officials did not detail whether any of them were among the dead.Ten injured victims, labeled as Level 1 trauma patients, were transported to nearby Kendall Regional Medical Center, program director Dr. Mark McKenney said in a press conference.One of the patients was in cardiac arrest and another was in a coma with “severe extremity injuries” when they arrived, McKenney said. Those patients were in critical condition.Eight other patients admitted to the hospital suffered from traumatic injuries such as bruises, abrasions and broken bones, but were in stable condition, McKenney said.The victims’ ages ranged from 20 to 50 years old, McKenney said. More than 100 firefighters were on the scene working to find victims with the help of cranes and search dogs, and officials were working to stabilize the bridge. Their efforts are expected to be “long and arduous” and last well into the night, officials said.One first responder, who owns a business across the street from the scene, worked on a victim for 15 minutes to keep him or her alive, said Orlando Lopez, mayor of the city of Sweetwater.Witness Suzy Bermudez told ABC News that she was sitting in traffic when she saw the bridge collapse from the left and then toward the middle.Bermudez then jumped out of her car to run and help before she saw car lights that were smashed so badly that they were almost hitting the ground.One girl survived because her car was smashed on the rear, so Bermudez and others were able to pull her out, she said.FIU student Aleia Stillwell told ABC News that she was in her car when the structure fell in front of her.The collapse sounded like thunder as the pieces of the bridge fell, she said.Stillwell said she thanked God that she was driving slower than usual, adding that it could have been her under that bridge.Another driver, Jonathan Munoz-Conway, described the scene to ABC News as surreal and terrifying, adding that he had just driven under the bridge about 30 seconds before it collapsed.Munoz-Conway said that after he drove past, he turned right into a parking garage next to the bridge. He then heard a loud bang and assumed he had hit something with his car before he heard a girl scream and saw police officers rushing to the scene.Witness Tiona Page told ABC News that the screams coming from the cars were “terrifying.”“As soon as I looked outside, I saw dust flying everywhere,” she said. “I knew the bridge had collapsed.” Bystanders rushed in to help those trapped, but struggled to dig through the rubble.It was not immediately clear what led to the collapse.The street that the bridge stretches over, 8th Street, is a busy seven-lane road that runs from downtown Miami all the way to the Everglades. Students and faculty had been calling for a bridge at the crossing of 8th Street and 109th Street, where pedestrians were required to cross through heavy traffic, The Miami Herald reported.The bridge was supposed to be iconic for the city, Lopez said.A section of 8th Street was closed over the weekend to allow workers to position the 174-foot bridge, according to PantherNOW, a university newspaper.FIU touted the bridge to be one of the first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place on Saturday.In a statement, the university said it was “shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding on campus.”“At this time, we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information,” the university said. “We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”According to an FIU press release, the 174-foot, 950-ton bridge was just installed “in a few hours” using “accelerated bridge construction” methods, which the university said “reduces potential risks to workers, commuters and pedestrians, and minimizes traffic interruptions.”One of the companies that constructed the bridge, Munilla Construction Management (MCM), said in a statement that it will conduct a “full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong” and that it will cooperate with investigators on the scene “in every way.”“The new UniversityCity Bridge, which was under construction, experienced a catastrophic collapse, causing injuries and loss of life,” the company said. “MCM is a family business, and we are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist.”Another company that took part in the bridge’s construction, FIGG Engineering, said in a statement that it was “stunned” and that “nothing like this has ever happened before” in its 40-year history.“Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected by this accident,” the company said. “We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why.”The bridge was scheduled to be fully completed in January 2019, PantherNOW reported. It cost a total of $14.2 million, largely funded by an $11.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a DOT spokesperson told ABC News.Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a press conference Thursday that he would “hold anybody accountable” culpable of wrongdoing during the conception and construction of the bridge. Scott will travel to Miami Thursday evening to be briefed by local law enforcement, his office announced.Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez released a statement saying he is “actively monitoring” the “tragic situation” from abroad. He has dispatched Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp to the scene, he said.“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this tragedy and with the first responders who are on the scene,” Gimenez said.FIU is one of the top 10 largest universities in the country, with nearly 54,000 students enrolled, according to its website.The National Transportation Safety Board is launching an investigation into the collapse.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. 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Okowa Calls for More Commitment to Sports Devt

first_imgDelta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that in spite of the huge investment in sports development, a lot is still needed to be done to take it to the desired level.He made the statement on Monday while speaking at the finals of the 9th edition of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Football Tournament at the Agbor Township Stadium.According to him, more well-to-do Nigerians and corporate organisations should be involved in the sponsorship of sporting activities, especially, football, observing that there was over reliance on government sponsorship. “Today, we watched a beautiful game of football; the organisers of the championship have made it clear that it was to unite the people, keep the youths busy and discover hidden talents.“We are aware of the inherent benefits derivable in the development of sports; though there is a lot of investments in sports, a lot more is needed to be done to take it, especially, the game of football to the desired heights.“We need a lot sponsorship; there are so much dependence on government for sponsorship; governments at different levels are doing their best but it is not enough; we need to strengthen our league because, it will amount to act of patriotism for us to watch Nigerian league and be involved in sponsorship.“The league is supposed to be a money spinner; everyone has to be patriotic in contributing to sports development,” Governor Okowa said.At the end of 90 minutes of play, Ute-Okpu Ward 9 football club piped Boji-Boji Ward 4 football team 2-0 to lift the trophy and win a cash prize of N1 million while a consolation prize of N750, 000 went to the second placed team. The third placed team received the sum of N500, 000.Governor Okowa who was among the spectators, presented the trophy and medals to the winners.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Students react to commencement speaker Karen Bass

first_imgStudents had mixed reactions to the University’s decision to bring Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass to campus as the official commencement speaker this May. (Photo from Twitter/Karen Bass) MacLeod said he believes Bass is a suitable campus speaker, but not for the commencement. Bass, who is currently serving in her fifth congressional term, is also chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Bass has been a strong advocate for gun control and criminal justice reforms and serves as a ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Either way [a speaker will] have something great to say, but I don’t think the party should be necessarily that much of a problem,” Miles said. “If a Republican represented the district, I think it would be appropriate to bring him as well.” USC GOP Vice President Austin MacLeod, a senior majoring in international relations, said he believes the school should have chosen a more prominent figure, such as a politician in the executive branch. Ben Pearce, political director of USC College Democrats, said Bass and other commencement speakers should be judged by the quality of their speeches rather than their professions or political affiliations. Some students say Bass, who represents the district that includes the University Park Campus, is too partisan to be the speaker, while others believe her ties to the USC community make her a perfect fit. Trojan Advocates for Political Progress President Alec Vandenberg said he thinks students of all political affiliations can learn a lot from Bass, who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. “I believe that there’s more interesting people for commencement speaker, generally speaking … than a politician of any party,” MacLeod said. “I think it’s really important that we keep up this relationship with our federal officials, especially [those] who work in our own backyard,” said Vandenberg, a junior majoring in public policy. “I’m excited because Karen Bass has been a prudent supporter and champion of many of the issues I find important.” “I think a very neutral stance would be [bringing] somebody from their cohort of inner circle of board members,” Hatem said. “But to go and get a Democratic representative and black woman [is] like a stock that we’re putting in.” “I think there’s something more interesting about that than a congresswoman who a lot of people have not heard of, particularly people outside of California,” MacLeod said. Bass has a graduate degree from the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and has worked at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Bass also established the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles, an organization aimed at transforming the neighborhood by improving public policy. “If your organization believes in freedom of speech, and you are willing to defend having different voices on campus, then surely you shouldn’t object to a commencement speaker who is inherently political,” said Pearce, a sophomore majoring in public policy. Political Student Assembly director Briana Miles, a junior majoring in law, history and culture, said she doesn’t think the party of the commencement speaker matters as long as they have a connection to the USC community. Alex Hatem, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in geological sciences, said she believes the University’s decision to bring Bass to campus shows the administration’s desire to “push the envelope.” USC’s decision to bring Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass to campus as the speaker for its 136th annual commencement ceremony on May 10 has been met with mixed responses from students. last_img read more

Jumbo Pay for Super Eagles if They Win AFCON 2019

first_img*Each player to pocket $95,000 as champions of Egypt 2019Femi SolajaIn a bid to motivate the Super Eagles players to win the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, a massive $95,000 bonus each awaits the players from the group stage matches up till the final match if they lift the cup on the 19th of July at the 80,000 capacity Cairo International Stadium.The massive pay is way higher that what the winning team to the last appearance of Nigeria  at the edition in South Africa where the Late Stephen Keshi tutored side won the cup for the third time. Already the players are guaranteed $10,000 for their 1-0 win over Burundi last Saturday in Alexandria and the same pay await the team should they beat Syli Stars of Guinea tomorrow afternoon at the same venue and could get a total of $30,000 should they maintain a perfect score in the last group match next week at same venue.A top official of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) informed ThisdaySport yesterday evening that it was an agreement the board had reached with the players before it left Asaba training camp before the departure to Ismailia for final preparations.“At the last World Cup finals in Russia, we never had any problem over payments because everything was stated in black and white. Although the team didn’t make it to the knock out phase, the take away from the Mundial was that absolute peace reigned all through our stay in Russia,” the official said last night .Although the football federation has been in the news for wrong reasons over payment to it teams that have participated in global tournaments lately, the gesture bestowed on the senior national team may have been to thread with caution knowing fully well that the tournament in Egypt is a good image laundry to the country.Should the team win its Round of 16 match early next month, each of the players will pocket $12,500 and the quarter final win will reward the players with $15,000 each  and semi final progress will lift each player to $17,500 and a in the final match will give the player a whooping $20,000 each as match bonus.Aside the players’ jumbo pay, the Technical crew are not left behind in the largess. The team Head Coach will collect double of the players rewards while his assistants namely goalkeepers trainer and assistant coach Alloy Agu and Imama Amapakabo will collect 75% of coach’s reward.The Backroom Staff which included the team’s Media Officer, Curator, Secretary are all guaranteed of 75% of what the players received in the progression scale.Should Nigeria win the cup for the fourth time, the conversion rate will reward each of the players with N34.2 million while Head coach will collect N68.4 million.Aside the match bonuses, the players are also entitled to $100 per day as camp allowance and all through to the final match next month would amount to six weeks in camp.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more