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Voicemail About Cracks in Collapsed Bridge Went Unheard

Newser — Kate Seamons

On Thursday, the 950-ton pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed in deadly fashion; on Friday, a Florida Department of Transportation employee finally heard the voicemail an engineer left on a landline three days prior, reports the AP.

In the message, Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Group noted cracking had been discovered on the north end of the concrete span, and while it would require repairs, "from a safety perspective we don't see that there's any issue there so we're not concerned about it from that perspective."

"Although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, you know, done to repair that," he continued.

The New York Times describes Pate as the head engineer of FIGG Bridge Group, which handled the bridge's design. The Times quotes a National Transportation Safety Board official as saying cracks aren't necessarily perilous; the NTSB's investigation into the collapse, which killed at least 6, is ongoing.

Indeed, the Miami Herald reports concrete construction often experiences some cracking. As for why the message went unheard for so long, FDOT says the employee was in the field on an assignment and didn't return to the office until Friday.

(FIGG was fined in 2012 over a bridge collapse.)

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