A bus and several cars plummeted into a ravine as the Forbes Avenue Bridge in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park collapsed at around 6am on Friday.
Pictures from the area show the cracked, snow-covered bridge lying in the Fern Hollow gorge, with emergency services on the scene.
Despite several vehicles being thrown from the bridge as it collapsed, emergency services reported there had been no fatalities, while paramedics reported 10 people had suffered injuries, including one firefighter who was being treated at the scene, Trib live reported.
Rescuers rapelled down 150ft to reach the site and a human chain was formed to help people to safety from a city bus that was crossing the bridge at the time.
Following the collapse a gas line was cut and it took almost 30 mins to shut the pipeline down as neighbouring houses and businesses were evacuated.
The collapse of the bridge came just hours before President Joe Biden arrived in Pittsburgh, known as the City of Bridges, to discuss plans to improve the country’s infrastructure. He visited the site of the disaster with Mayor Ed Gainey and met with first responders.
Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg is monitoring the situation and is also set to speak about infrastructure at an event in Kansas later today.
Footage from the scene shows aftermath of bridge collapse
Footage and pictures taken at the scene of the bridge collapse show emergency services peering into the ravine - where vehicles were thrown as the Frick Park bridge crumbled.
Bridge collapses in snow
Read the full story of the Pittsburgh bridge collapse. Gustaf Kilander reports
A bridge has collapsed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania just hours before President Joe Biden is set to speak about infrastructure in the city.
City bus among the vehicles on bridge at time of collapse
A city bus can be seen on the collapsed portion of the bridge.
Pittsburgh officials update on bridge collapse
Via ABC News
Human chain formed to rescue people from bus
Rescuers rappelled nearly 150 feet (46 metres) down to the scene, while others formed a human chain to help rescue multiple people from the dangling bus.
Pittsburgh bridge collapse: Human chain formed to help
Biden visit to continue
The collapse came hours before President Joe Biden was to visit the city to press for his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes bridge maintenance.
In a statement, the White House said Biden would proceed with his planned trip to 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 said. “The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time.”
Scale of collapse became evident as daylight improved
The scale of the collapse became evident to emergency responders as the sun rose over the scene.
The City of Bridges
Pittsburgh is affectionately known as the “City of Bridges” and boasts more than any other city in the world. This and its long history of manufacturing are why it was chosen for President Joe Biden’s planned remarks on jobs and infrastructure later today.
According to the Senator John Heinz History Center:
Affectionately known as the “City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh boasts 446 bridges – more than any other city in the world, including Venice, Italy. Long before the majestic bridges soared above the Three Rivers, Pittsburgh was a rugged terrain of deep valleys, creeks, and rivers, isolating many of the city’s residents.
Mr Biden is scheduled to speak at Carnegie Mellon University at 2pm on strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalising American manufacturing, creating good-paying, union jobs, and building a better America, including through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
In pictures: Pittsburgh bridge collapse
Mayor Ed Gainey thanks public safety officers
Mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey, who visited the scene earlier this morning, tweets: “Today a bridge collapsed near Forbes and S Braddock. I am thankful there are no reported fatalities or critical injuries at this time. Thank you @PghPublicSafety for the quick response and thank you to the county, state, and federal governments for the cooperation and assistance.”
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