Pittsburgh bridge collapse injures 10 people
By Alex Sundby January 28, 2022
A Pittsburgh bridge collapsed Friday morning, sending multiple vehicles and a public bus plummeting into a park below, officials said. Ten people suffered minor injuries and four people were taken to area hospitals, but none of the injuries were life-threatening, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
“This could have been much worse,” Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman told CBS Pittsburgh at the collapse site. Fetterman noted a winter storm delayed the start of schools and kept people off the roads.
Images from the scene showed vehicles piled up amid the rubble. Gas lines running along the bridge ruptured, causing a large leak, and crews shut off the lines, officials said in a statement.
Five vehicles and an Allegheny County Port Authority bus were on the overpass when it collapsed into Frick Park below at around 6:40 a.m., officials said in the statement. Crews were searching the area to see if anyone may have been in the park when the collapse happened.
The bridge was last inspected in September, Mayor Ed Gainey told reporters. Fire Chief Darryl Jones said authorities were investigating what caused the collapse, which happened hours before President Biden was scheduled to visit the area to speak about infrastructure and other topics.
“With him coming today to talk about this infrastructure bill, to discuss why this funding is so important, today is significant,” Gainey told reporters.”… At the end of the day, we could have had some serious injuries.”
At collapse site, Biden calls state of U.S. infrastructure “just mind-boggling”
At the bridge collapse site, President Biden said it was “mind-boggling” how far behind the U.S. has been on investing in its infrastructure. The president made the comments to a group of elected officials and first responders as he surveyed the damage from the collapse.
“We have been so far behind on infrastructure for so many years it’s just mind-boggling,” Mr. Biden said. “…We used to be number one in the world.”
Biden visits bridge collapse site
President Biden is visiting the bridge collapse site shortly after he arrived in the Pittsburgh area for a previously scheduled event.
Five vehicles and a bus were on bridge when it collapsed
Five vehicles and an Allegheny County Port Authority bus were on the bridge when it collapsed into Frick Park below at around 6:40 a.m., officials said in a statement. Crews were searching the area to see if anyone may have been in the park when the collapse happened.
“This could have been much worse”
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman said it was fortunate that a winter storm hitting Pittsburgh at the time of the collapse helped keep people off the roads.
“This could have been much worse,” Fetterman told CBS Pittsburgh at the collapse site. “We were fortunate that there was a public school delay and the traffic could have been much more pronounced.”
“I’m just grateful nobody was killed,” Fetterman told the station.
Rescuers used ropes and human chain to pull people to safety
Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said rescuers repelled down between 100 feet and 150 feet on ropes to reach people after the collapse. Others formed a human chain to pull people up to safety.
“It wasn’t vertical, but it was fairly steep,” Jones told reporters.
No life-threatening injuries reported
Ten people suffered minor injuries and three people were taken to area hospitals, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Vehicle pileup seen amid the rubble
Images from the scene showed vehicles piled up amid the rubble. CBS Pittsburgh reports a gas line runs under the bridge, and officials said the gas line was shut off.
Biden visiting Pittsburgh later today
The collapse happened hours before President Biden was scheduled to visit Pittsburgh to speak about infrastructure and other topics. White House press secretary Jen Psaki that Mr. Biden’s trip was expected to go on as planned.