A heartwrenching story emerged from the Florida bridge collapse today when a woman who witnessed the bridge falling and crushing all those vehicles could see a young survivor in the back seat of one of the crushed cars. The owner of a restaurant that is located across the street from the bridge that collapsed described the scene that she and her husband witnessed, along with the staff at their restaurant.
Lianet Sado said her husband ran to the site of the collapse as he could see two construction workers tied to the fallen bridge with their harnesses. Her husband tried to give CPR to one of the construction workers, according to Cairns Post local news today.
Lianet and the restaurant staff ran across the street trying to help the people trapped in their cars when they came upon one car that was completely crushed in front. It was smashed down in the front where the driver and passenger were seated. There was a young boy in the back seat of this car and Lianet said he was in a “pool of blood.”
While the two other occupants of the car were completely crushed, the boy was alive and “basically begging for someone to help him,” said Lianet. The police wouldn’t let her go under the bridge to help this boy, as the fallen concrete rubble was unstable. Lianet said this is something she will never get out of her mind, she keeps picturing the boy with his hand out the window waving and hoping help will come.
She moved, feeling powerless that she couldn’t help that boy and as a mother, it pulled at her heartstrings. She tried to help other victims, but the picture of that boy haunted her. Another witness said he was about 300 feet away from the bridge collapse and he got out of his car and ran to the collapsed bridge to try and help.
He said all he could see were cars crushed, you couldn’t even see the tires on the cars he told reporters, “I mean squished.” Witnesses who were just seconds away from going under that bridge in the busy traffic told reporters of their initial shock, but then they all seemed to kick into rescue mode.
Susie Bermudez was just three seconds from going under that bridge and she told reporters how it came crashing down in front of her. She said it really shocked her as she watched the structure start to collapse from the left side. Isabella Carrasco arrived on the scene just minutes after the collapse and the crushed cars were what got her attention, knowing that they contained people.
She saw rescue personnel performing CPR and she saw one woman get out of her car who looked “just knicked” by the debris. Lynnell Collins went from shock to rescue mode and started to help the people that were easily saved. People who were in half-crushed cars, but could get out, are who she went to help. There were cars that were so crushed there was no way out.
The pedestrian bridge was under construction and not due to open until next year. The concrete span was lowered in place on Saturday, which is the concrete piece that collapsed today. The bridge was erected to give people a safe passage across a busy eight-lane road in Sweetwater when coming back and forth from Florida International University.
The search and rescue event is ongoing with dogs, high tech listening devices, and fiberoptic cameras. They could be searching for survivors for the next few days under all the concrete debris which needs to be moved to find victims.
The dogs and high tech devices are looking for “viable victims” according to a fire rescue spokesperson. This incident occurred in the heart of Miami, reports Fox News in their live coverage today. The collapse occurred at about 1:30 p.m. today sending 950 tons of concrete crashing on to the roadway and vehicles below. It has been confirmed that eight cars are crushed underneath the debris. There is no confirmed number of deaths or injuries reported yet, but it is confirmed by police that there are “several deaths” and a number of injuries.
This bridge is the first of its kind and it was Saturday when the concrete span that fell today was put in place on the bridge, as you can see in the tweet below.