Police release 911 calls from FIU pedestrian bridge collapse

'The bridge just collapsed,' man tells dispatcher in series of 911 calls

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

SWEETWATER, Fla. - Police on Thursday released the chilling 911 calls made in the moments after last week's pedestrian bridge collapse that killed six people.

"Oh my God," a woman repeats in one of the earlier calls made to 911 dispatchers.

Through her broken English, she explains to the dispatcher that a pedestrian bridge linking Florida International University to the city of Sweetwater collapsed.

"The bridge in FIU collapsed with workers outside and a lot of cars under," the woman tells the dispatcher.

Another man calmly states what he's just seen.

"The bridge just collapsed," he tells a dispatcher.

He seems to know that the span had been erected just days earlier.

"They just put it up. They were working on it and it collapsed into the middle of the road," he says.

The dispatcher asks him if anyone is hurt.

"From what I see," he says.

Later he adds, "It's a big, big mess."

Thursday marks one week since the bridge collapsed and crumbled onto Southwest Eighth Street below.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators confirmed Wednesday that workers were adjusting tensioning rods when the bridge fell.

The NTSB said in a statement that workers were adjusting the final set of rods on the north side of the bridge when it collapsed, crushing several cars underneath. Workers had previously adjusted the rods on the south side, the NTSB said.

Southwest Eighth Street was open to traffic during the testing. Lawyers for the victims' families have criticized the decision not to shut down traffic during testing.

Some of the 911 callers spoke Spanish, prompting dispatchers to get translators.

As dispatchers fielded call after call for help, the extent of what took place became more evident.

"We got it," a dispatcher tells a caller. "Help is on the way."

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.