Early Friday morning, a two-lane bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park, requiring rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet. Others formed a human chain to help rescue occupants of a dangling bus. The irony is that this comes just hours before President Joe Biden was to visit the city to talk about his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes bridge maintenance.
According to AP News, authorities say there were minor injuries from the collapse but no fatalities. Authorities also were flying drones to make sure that no one is under any collapsed sections. Police reported that span came down just before 7 a.m. Sam Wasserman, spokesperson for Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, said a few hours after the collapse that officials were evaluating the scene and an urban search-and-rescue team was still combing the area for any other possible victims.
He also said that most of the 10 people who were evaluated for injuries were first responders checked for exhaustion or because of the cold and snowy weather. Three people were taken to hospitals, and none had critical injuries, Wasserman said. A two-part, elongated Port Authority bus was on the bridge at the time of the collapsing, with a driver and at least one passenger who were both evaluated by emergency medical responders, according to Wasserman.
According to AP News, the scene was like the aftermath of an earthquake. There was a large crack on the end where the bus was, he said. There was also a car upside down in front of the bus. Authorities are warning motorists to avoid the area. The steel span, which was built in 1970, carries somewhere around 14,500 vehicles a day, according to a 2005 estimate.
In a statement, the White House said that Biden would still proceed with his planned trip to Pittsburgh.