At least four persons have been killed and 10 others injured after a footbridge collapsed near Florida International University in Miami in the US, officials say.

Rescue teams were still searching the rubble on Thursday night for victims trapped beneath the buckled footbridge, BBC reported.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday night he was monitoring “the heartbreaking bridge collapse”.

“Continuing to monitor the heartbreaking bridge collapse at FIU – so tragic. Many brave First Responders rushed in to save lives. Thank you for your courage. Praying this evening for all who are affected,” he tweeted.

 

The structure toppled over an eight-lane motorway on Thursday afternoon, crushing at least eight vehicles, according to police.

It is still unclear how many people were under the bridge at the time.

Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey said on Thursday night he could confirm at least four people were killed.

“This is going to be a long incident. We are going to have rescuers here through the night, if not longer,” Chief Downey said.

At least 10 people were treated for injuries at theKendall Regional Medical Center, including two who were in “extremely critical condition”, according to Dr Mark McKenney, director of general surgery.

The 950-tonne, 174-foot (53 mere) bridge was erected on Saturday in just six hours over the highway, according to a story posted on the college website.

Witnesses told local media vehicles were stopped at a traffic light when the structure collapsed.

“We’re working our way into the pile trying to create holes that we can actually physically see,” Miami-Dade Fire Department Division Chief Paul Estopian told reporters.

A witness told ABC News that the screams coming from the cars were “terrifying”.

“As soon as I looked outside, I saw dust flying everywhere,” Tiona Page said. “I knew the bridge had collapsed.”

Another witness, Damany Reed, told CBS News: “I heard a big kaboom… it sounded continuous. We look outside… we thought something had fallen but it was the bridge that collapsed. It was just surreal at that moment and pretty scary.”

The 174 feet cable-supported footbridge was to be publicly opened in 2019.

Costing $14.2 million, it was funded by the US Department of Transportation.