FIU: Engineers met to discuss bridge crack on morning of collapse, determined 'no safety concerns'

Florida International University said the two firms responsible for the “instant bridge” that collapsed, killing six people, met hours before the tragedy to “discuss a crack that appeared on the structure” but determined there were no safety concerns.

In a statement released early Saturday, the university said the Design Build Team of MCM and FIGG Bridge Group met at the site of the bridge Thursday morning for about two hours with representatives from FIU and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

This photo provided by DroneBase shows the collapsed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in the Miami area on Thursday, March 15, 2018. (DroneBase via AP)

The bridge collapsed Thursday, March 15, 2018, killing at least six people.  (AP)

The school said the engineer of record with FIGG gave a “technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.”

“The investigation is ongoing to determine the collapse of the bridge, and FIU is fully cooperating with all authorities to understand what happened,” the statement concluded.

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The university’s statement came hours after reports emerged Friday about an engineer’s warning of cracks on the structure just days before it collapsed Thursday. The FDOT acknowledged the engineer left the voicemail notifying the department of cracking in the concrete.

Workers push back a yellow tarp under a section of a collapsed pedestrian bridge, Friday, March 16, 2018 near Florida International University in the Miami area.   The new pedestrian bridge that was under construction collapsed onto a busy Miami highway Thursday afternoon, crushing vehicles beneath massive slabs of concrete and steel, killing and injuring several people, authorities said.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

An investigation in ongoing to determine what caused the bridge to collapse.  (AP)

A transcript released Friday shows Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Group saying the cracking would need repairs "but from a safety perspective we don't see that there's any issue there so we're not concerned about it from that perspective.”

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Following the fall Thursday that killed six people and injured at least 10 others, the National Transportation Safety Board announced at a news conference late Friday that it would be launching its own, independent investigation into the bridge failure to try and find out what may have led to the collapse.

Authorities are slowly removing the debris, looking for more victims.

Miam-Dade Fire Rescue personnel work after a brand new, 950-ton pedestrian bridge collapsed in front of Florida International University, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Miami. Florida officials said Thursday that several people have been found dead in the rubble of the collapsed South Florida pedestrian bridge where the frantic search for any survivors continued past nightfall. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday it would be launching its own, independent investigation into why the bridge collapsed.  (AP)

MCM Construction, a Miami-based contractor, and Figg Bridge Design, based in Tallahassee, have come under increased scrutiny as details emerge of past engineering failures and inspection fines – including a recent accusation that one hired “unskilled” and “careless” workers.

Scheduled to open in 2019, the bridge would have provided safe passage over a canal and six lanes of traffic, and created a showpiece architectural feature connecting the campus of FIU with the community of Sweetwater, where many students live.

The $14.2 million project was supposed to take advantage of a faster, cheaper and safer method of bridge-building promoted by the university.

The bridge was put in place March 10, five days before the collapse.

An investigation to determine what caused the bridge to collapse is ongoing.

Fox News' Paulina Dedaj and Greg Norman contributed to this report.