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Collapsed Florida bridge contractors fined for 'failing to protect workers'

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The contractors which designed and built the Florida International University (FIU) bridge have been fined for serious safety violations.

In total five companies have been fined a total of $86,658 (£65,765) for seven violations after one worker died when the FIU bridge collapsed in March, which also killed five motorists.

The worker along with five colleagues had been standing on top of the bridge when it collapsed. Another was left with serious brain injuries following the collapse.

Fines were handed out to Figg Bridge Engineers, Munilla Construction Management, Bolton Perez & Associates, Structural Technologies and concrete contractor the Structural Group, after the court ruled that they failed to protect their workers.

“Collectively, these employers failed to take appropriate action and provide the necessary protections to their employees while they were working on the bridge on the day it collapsed,”  said US Occupational Safety & Health Administration regional administrator Kurt A Petermeyer in a statement.

The fines are the first punishments handed down following the bridge collapse. The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the cause.

Last week it was revealed that materials from the site of the collapsed Florida bridge were later destroyed.

A Miami circuit judge has demanded to know to why 26 threaded steel rods were melted down after being removed from the site by one of the companies working on the FIU pedestrian bridge. 

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