Skip to content
Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

| Business Top stories | Fox News


There were 10 “minor injuries”, Fire Chief Darryl Jones said, and three people were transported from the scene. None of the injuries were life-threatening, he said.

Four vehicles were on the bridge when it fell, Jones said. Crews are still carrying out reconnaissance to make sure no one was under the bridge when it collapsed, he said.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation, he said. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a “departure team” to the collapse, with an estimated arrival Friday afternoon.

First responders used ropes to rappel to the victims, Jones said. Crews also used what he called a “garland” where they linked hands to reach victims and pull them out.

LIVE UPDATES: Pittsburgh Bridge Collapses

In an interview with CNN, Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor said he was glad the collapse didn’t happen later that morning when there likely would have been a lot more. traffic on the bridge.

“If it had happened an hour later, this is a road that probably gets around 15,000 cars a day, and if it was rush hour, we would be seeing a few hundred cars in this valley,” he said. “We were very, very lucky today, and I hope those people in hospital are recovering quickly and will be home safely in the coming days.”

The Allegheny County Police Department was notified of a partial bridge collapse shortly after 6 a.m. Friday, according to county spokeswoman Amie Downs.

Only minor injuries were reported, including the driver of an articulated bus and two passengers, Downs said.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

The collapse also caused a natural gas line in the area to burst, Downs said, but that line has since been severed. There are reports of people feeling sick in the area from the natural gas, Downs said, and those people are being treated on the spot.

Peoples Gas spokesman Barry Kukovich confirmed the company had a gas distribution line on the bridge that had collapsed. “It goes under the roadway, then it goes under the bridge,” he said.

There is no evidence at this time that there was a gas explosion prior to the collapse, Kukovich said. He described the gas line as a distribution line, but said it was not a high pressure gas line.

Peoples Gas crews are on scene assessing the situation, Kukovich said, and nearby customers are experiencing “minimal service disruptions.”

Biden is aware of the meltdown, the White House said in a statement, and plans to continue his journey.

“The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to help the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” the statement read.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

Bridge is ‘lifeline’ for region, official says

According to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller, light snow was falling Friday morning in Pittsburgh, although only one to two inches had accumulated since it began around 2 a.m. ET. Light snow is expected to continue intermittently through Friday afternoon, although little further accumulation is expected.

The weather is not directly related to a northeasterly strengthening off the US east coast, Miller said, but to a separate system coming from the north.

In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman called the bridge a “lifeline” in the Pittsburgh area. The bridge crosses Frick Park, one of the largest parks in the city.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

“Fortunately the schools had a two hour delay for the weather,” he said, “so traffic was less than it normally would have been on a normal day, but it’s surreal to see that bridge .”

Asked about the coming collapse on the very day of the president’s visit, Fetterman, a Democrat, said, “It’s a horrible way to highlight how critical our infrastructure needs are in this country.”

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

Jeremy Habowski told CNN he felt lucky to be alive after surviving the collapse. He and other drivers were unable to stop in time after the bridge gave way, he said.

“The scariest part was definitely going over the edge because there was a gap and my car went off the ground,” he told CNN. His car and others now sit on what remains of the bridge.

Once things were settled, Habowski checked on another pilot, he said. Then he drove up the hill to try to stop other drivers from driving through the rubble.

“It was a lot to take in,” he told CNN.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News

Greg Barnhisel lives about a quarter of a mile from where the bridge collapsed, so he and his wife walked to see it, he told CNN.

“We didn’t hear it fall apart,” he said. “When we arrived at the site of the collapse, the roar and smell of the broken gas line was overwhelming.”

Another nearby resident, Wendy Stroh, told CNN affiliate KDKA that she heard the collapse but thought it sounded like “a huge snowplow pushing along a tarmac surface. brute without snow”.

“It’s very scary,” she said. “My God, all those ambulances and fire trucks and so on. Just the thought of the bridge collapsing is a very scary prospect. I walk across that bridge all the time.”

The bridge received an overall “Poor” rating, by DOT State

During Friday morning’s press conference, Mayor Gainey said the bridge was last inspected in September 2021.

In an interview with CNN, Jones, the fire chief, said the bridge was of no concern to officials before the collapse. The city’s bridges are regularly inspected, he said, and “if there had been a warning or a concern, we would have been notified and made sure not to use this route.”

“So this one took everyone by surprise this morning,” he said.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

 | Local News
However, while the fire chief said the bridge hasn’t been a concern for city officials, it received an “overall condition” rating of “poor,” according to the Department of Health’s website. Pennsylvania Transportation, which tracks bridges across the state. .

The 447-foot bridge was built in 1970 and comprised of a rigid steel frame, according to the website.

The PennDOT website indicates that the condition of the bridge, or road surface, was rated “4 – Poor”, as was the condition of the superstructure. The condition of the substructure was rated “6 – Satisfactory”.

According to PennDOT, the condition of a bridge “is determined by the lowest condition rating of major components of a bridge or culvert.”

“If the lowest rating is greater than or equal to 7, the bridge is classified as Good; if it is less than or equal to 4, the classification is Bad. Bridges rated 5 or 6 are classified as Fair”, explains the site.

CNN’s Amanda Watts, Paul P. Murphy and Alisha Ebrahimji contributed to this report.

Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit to discuss infrastructure

| Today Headlines World news
Cnn

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.