WASHINGTON — A bridge collapsed early Friday morning in Pittsburgh's Point Breeze neighborhood, prompting rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet while others formed a human chain to help rescue people from a dangling bus.
The incident came just a few hours before President Joe Biden traveled to Pittsburgh to discuss the $1 trillion infrastructure law, which includes funding for bridges. After arriving in Pennsylvania, the president visited the site of the collapse.
Three or four vehicles, including a Port Authority bus, were on the snow-covered bridge, on Forbes Avenue over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park, when it collapsed shortly before 7 a.m. Eastern, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said at a press conference.
Chief Jones said three people were taken to the hospital, but none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening. In total, he said there were 10 minor injuries, which included injuries suffered by first responders. Officials said there were no fatalities.
The steel span was built in 1970, and a 2019 inspection revealed the deck and superstructure to be in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said a gas line was cut during the collapse, which led to a strong smell of natural gas in the area.
“We could have had some significant injuries,” Gainey told reporters at a press conference.
When asked by reporters Friday morning about this bridge collapse occurring on the same day that Biden visits the city to discuss the infrastructure law, Pittsburgh's mayor said it "is critical that we get this funding." He added that the bridge was last inspected in Sept. 2021.
After visiting the bridge collapse site, Biden headed to Carnegie Mellon University to discuss "strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalizing American manufacturing, creating good-paying, union jobs, and building a better America, including through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.