When there is a serious construction accident, usually the ones who are affected are those who were working on the site at the time of the accident. It is always unfortunate when someone is injured in an accident, regardless of whether they are workers or those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When it comes to construction projects in Wisconsin and elsewhere that are in areas accessible to the general public, innocent bystanders can be seriously injured or killed.
This point was painfully driven home with the recent collapse of a pedestrian bridge that was being constructed in Miami, Florida. The widely-publicized tragedy occurred during spring break near Florida International University, otherwise there may have been many more casualties. As it happened, six people were killed and several others injured when the 960-ton structure collapsed onto the roadway when traffic was stopped at a red light under the bridge. Vehicles were flattened, leaving many victims buried beneath the rubble.
The bridge project was known for its innovative building method, in which the majority of the structure was constructed off-site, then brought to the location to be put in place a few pieces at a time. The cause of the accident is still unknown. Numerous agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are investigating.
The pedestrian bridge was meant to make it safer for students and others to cross the busy road. Unfortunately, something went wrong during construction and lives were claimed. Surviving family members may choose to pursue compensation.
Source: The Washington Post, "At least 6 dead after Florida bridge collapse; officials searching for more victims in the rubble," Francisco Alvarado, Susan Svrluga, Faiz Siddiqui and J. Freedom du Lac