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NTSB Report Cites 'Design Errors' In Deadly FIU Bridge Collapse

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Errors in the design of the FIU pedestrian bridge that collapsed in March killing six people, is likely the cause of the tragic incident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB issued its second investigative update Thursday stating, "Errors were made in the design of the 174-foot span and cracking observed prior to the collapse is consistent with those errors."

Six people died and eight others were injured when the bridge collapsed March 15, 2018. Eight vehicles were crushed in the collapse, seven of the vehicles were occupied.

The update states "errors were made in the design of the northernmost nodal region of the span where two truss members were connected to the bridge deck. The design errors resulted in an overestimation of the capacity (resistance) of a critical section through the node, and, an apparent underestimation of the demand (load) on that section."

The design review was conducted by the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Bridges and Structures in support of the NTSB's ongoing investigation.  The Federal Highway Administration is a party to the NTSB's investigation.

FIU Bridge Collapse Rebar
In this photo taken Aug. 15, 2018, samples of rebar recovered from the collapsed FIU pedestrian bridge, await transport to the Federal Highway Administration's Turner-Fairbanks Highway Research Center, where the samples underwent materials testing as part of the NTSB's ongoing investigation of the March 15, 2018, fatal, bridge collapse. (NTSB photo by Adrienne Lamm)

Investigators also tested concrete and steel samples taken from the bridge following the collapse and found those materials did meet the plan's specified minimum requirements.

The investigation continues to examine the design, review, and construction processes as well as the actions taken once the cracking was observed

The NTSB says, "The investigation of the bridge collapse is ongoing and information in the investigative update is preliminary, therefore, no conclusions about probable cause should be drawn from the information contained in the investigative update."

FIU released a statement a few hours after the NTSB bridge investigative report was released.

It reads, "At FIU, we continue to fully cooperate with the NTSB so that it may finish its investigation and complete a final report and safety recommendations. We hope the results of the investigation will help bring closure to the families and loved ones of the victims. 
Kenneth Jessell
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer"


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