VIDEO: Rubio -- "We Deserve to Know What Went Wrong" in FIU Bridge Collapse

Earlier tonight, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) and other local law enforcement and government officials at a press conference at Florida International University to discuss the pedestrian bridge that collapsed today across Southwest Eighth Street in Miami.

As RedState reported, the pedestrian bridge was built using a newly-developed type of modular construction that had never been used on a bridge this large before. A new type of “self-cleaning” concrete that could resist pollution stains was also used.

The bridge had been up less than a week — the 950-ton main section of the bridge was installed just this past Saturday — when it collapsed today, sending workers tumbling and crushing several cars underneath. Multiple fatalities have been confirmed, additional injured people sent to the hospital, and rescue workers continuing efforts into the night to extricate vehicles and any remaining survivors from under the bridge debris.

Rubio sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking about this new type of construction, the materials, and safety standards. In today’s press conference, he reiterated his questions about the bridge construction and expectations about the pending investigation.

“We deserve to know, and the public deserves to know, and the families of those who have been hurt and who lost their lives deserve to know what went wrong,” said Rubio. “That’s one thing everybody should be rest assured of. These people that are going to be doing these engineering studies will tell us what went wrong.”

“That won’t provide any comfort to the families who lost a loved one, but it will prevent something like this from ever happening again—we learn from these things. There will be an exhaustive review that will give details on an engineering and scientific level as to what the errors were and what led to this catastrophic collapse. Of that you can rest assured. That work has already begun.”

Transcript of Rubio’s remarks, as provided by his Senate office:

For everybody standing here, this is, again, another troubling and tragic incident. For me personally, FIU is home. I’ve been an adjunct professor here for ten years. There’s a lot of pride and excitement that exists about this project. Ironically, it’s project designed for safety. We lost some students last year crossing that road behind us. And it’s also been a signature project. One that people would identify with the school and with this community. And one of a kind in terms of its engineering design. I believe it was just Saturday where it was unveiled with a tremendous amount of excitement and pride. And it was one of those things people would always see and remember this school about. So to see it on the ground there today. And underneath, those who lost their lives as a result of this, and those who have been injured. It’s just so tragic. We recognize that even as we speak to you now, there are families whose hearts are being broken by the news or the thought that a loved one’s perished in something like this.

I can tell you at the federal level, I had an opportunity to speak to the Secretary of Transportation before being on the plane that the federal agencies are already here – both OSHA and National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an exhaustive review. And the one thing that we do owe the people of the country and the people of this community, because part of this project is federal funding, it’s called a TIGER grant that was passed through for this project that everyone took great pride in. We deserve to know, and the public deserves to know, and the families of those who have been hurt and who lost their lives deserve to know what went wrong. That’s one thing everybody should be rest assured of. These people that are going to be doing these engineering studies will tell us what went wrong. That won’t provide any comfort to the families who lost a loved one, but it will prevent something like this from ever happening again—we learn from these things. There will be an exhaustive review that will give details on an engineering and scientific level as to what the errors were and what led to this catastrophic collapse. Of that you can rest assured. That work has already begun.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, and I know this has deeply affected the president of this institution. Mark Rosenberg happened to be in Washington when this happened. We were on the same plane coming down. We rode over from the airport. I know this has been difficult on him and everybody here at FIU, and the first responders. They’re one of a kind. With their gear on trying to get in there to the last second trying to figure out if there’s any people they can save. And risking their own safety in the process. We thank them for the work they’re doing, and the work they will be doing in the days and hours to come. Thank you.

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