A two-lane bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed before 7:00 AM this morning, injuring 10 people. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening and only three of the people involved were sent to hospital with only minor injuries.
The bridge was on Forbes Avenue over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park. The collapse prompted rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet (46 meters) while others formed a human chain to rescue multiple people in a bus that was dangling over a fallen section of the bridge, the Associated Press reports.
Photos show a number of vehicles also involved in the harrowing incident. The collapsed bridge caused a gas leak but the gas has since been shut off, city officials said. First responders added that they were flying drones in the area to ensure no one was under any sections of the bridge.
— Pittsburgh Public Safety (@PghPublicSafety) January 28, 2022
“It’s just an awful, surreal scene,” said Pennsylvania Lt. Gov John Fetterman at the site of the collapse. “I hope it’s a wake-up call to the nation that we need to make these infrastructure investments.”
President Biden’s Visit To Pittsburgh To Discuss Infrastructure Bill Still On
Indeed, President Joe Biden is on his way to Pittsburgh today to get support for his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes bridge maintenance. White House representatives said he will still head to the city to make his address.
“Our team is in touch with state and local officials on the ground as they continue to gather information about the cause of the collapse,” the White House wrote in a statement. “The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time.”
The bridge that collapsed today was built in 1970 and carried about 14,500 vehicles per day, according to 2005 estimates. A 2019 inspection of city-owned bridges revealed that the deck and superstructure of the bridge were in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, that means that “deterioration of primary structural elements has advanced.”
— Georgia Voter (@SaraGottlieb1) January 28, 2022