U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked the department’s inspector general to probe whether a federally funded pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed six in Florida complied with all rules, her office said on Tuesday.
Chao said in a letter she has asked for an audit to determine if the bridge owner and the design-build team had followed requirements as a condition of receiving federal funding.
The 950-ton, $16.6 million pedestrian bridge, which crossed an eight-lane highway adjacent to Florida International University (FIU) to link the campus with the city of Sweetwater, collapsed on Thursday, crushing vehicles in traffic below.
On Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend the payment of all remaining federal funding for the collapsed pedestrian bridge.
Scott said the funding will be withheld indefinitely pending the completion of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation. The project was awarded $13.6 million in federal funding. “Before another dollar is spent on this bridge, we must know exactly what happened,” Scott said in a statement.
Engineers and state and university officials met hours before the new pedestrian bridge collapsed but concluded a crack in the structure was not a safety concern, the university said earlier. About three hours after the meeting ended, the bridge collapsed, crushing vehicles stopped at a traffic light.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Phil Berlowitz
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.