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10 injured after road bridge collapses in Pittsburgh

pittsburgh bridge collapse
Posted at 8:18 AM, Jan 28, 2022

A Pittsburgh bridge that carries a main city road through a local park collapsed on Friday, injuring 10 people and sending three to local hospitals.

Officials added that none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety reported that a bridge that carries Forbes Ave. over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park collapsed Friday morning around 6 a.m. ET.

Photos from the scene show that vehicles were on the bridge during the collapse, including a commuter bus. Officials said some of those injured were those riding the bus.

Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said first responders rappelled 150 feet down a ravine to make rescues, while others formed a human chain to help rescue some who were stranded on the bus. He added that some first responders suffered injuries after slipping on the snow at the hilly and rocky collapse site.

Jones later added that officials will continue recon work throughout the day on Friday to ensure no one was under the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Fire officials also confirmed that the collapse caused a "major gas leak." Gas was briefly shut off in the area, but Jones said that the leak is now under control and service has been restored. Several families were briefly evacuated from their homes and have since been allowed to return.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey says the bridge was last inspected in September.

The collapse comes hours before President Joe Biden is expected to arrive in the city to discuss a newly-passed infrastructure spending bill. In a statement, the White House said Biden would proceed with his trip.

"The President has been told of the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh. 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 statement read. "The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time. The President will proceed with trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide."

Gainey said the city of Pittsburgh still welcomed Biden's visit.

"The bipartisan infrastructure bill — we need it. We know we have bridges that need to be taken care of. Today is significant to that," Gainey said. "We're glad to have the president coming today."