Sunday, June 26

Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh hours before Biden’s visit to the city

(CNN) –– A snow covered bridge Pittsburgh collapsed on Friday morning, just hours before a planned visit by President Joe Biden to discuss infrastructure.

No deaths have been reported so far, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said at a news conference at the scene.

There are 10 “minor injuries,” Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. And he added that three people were transported from the scene. None of the injuries were life-threatening, he said. The fire chief also explained that three or four vehicles were on the bridge when it fell.

Jones said crews are still conducting reconnaissance to make sure no one was under the bridge when it collapsed.


(Credit: Jeremy Habowski)

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman arrived on the scene and told CNN: “It’s surreal, the entire span of the bridge has collapsed onto the park and the walking trail below.” Fetterman referred to the bridge as “a vital artery” in the Pittsburgh area. “Fortunately, the schools were on a two-hour delay due to weather, so the traffic was less than normal on a normal day,” he added.

There is a strong smell of natural gas being reported in the area, police said. He later added that a gas line had been cut in the area. The Red Cross has been contacted to help the victims and residents are asked to avoid the area.

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

Four vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the collapse, Downs added. In addition, he indicated that only minor injuries were reported, including the driver of an articulated bus and two passengers.

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“The scariest thing was going over the edge”

Jeremy Habowski told CNN that he feels 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 remain on what is left of the bridge.

Once things calmed down, Habowski checked on another driver, he said. He then went up the hill to try to avoid other drivers from crashing into the debris.

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

Hours before Biden’s arrival in Pittsburgh

The collapse occurred just hours before President Biden is due to visit the city to discuss infrastructure. The White House later reported that the president is aware of the accident, which happened about 9 kilometers from where he is expected to make some comments. The statement indicated that Biden will continue with the trip.

“The president has been briefed on the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh. Our team is in contact with state and local officials on the ground as they continue to gather information about the cause of the collapse,” the White House said in a statement.

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