Pittsburgh Bridge Collapses Hours Before Biden Arrives To Taut Infrastructure Bill
A Pittsburgh bridge collapsed around 7 a.m. this morning, injuring 10 people. None of them sustained life-threatening injuries, officials said. The collapse happened hours before President Joe Biden was slated to arrive discuss infrastructure.
Darryl Jones, the Pittsburgh fire chief, said that three to four cars and a bus were on the bridge during the time of the collapse. They were rescued as emergency responders repelled down and used a daisy chain to pull victims back up. Sources also reported a strong smell of natural gas in the area, and officials later found a gas leak was caused by the collapse. Nearby residents were evacuated.
The bridge fell near South Braddock and Forbes avenues, and Pittsburgh Public Safety told people to avoid the area around Frick Park.
Authorities are searching the area under the bridge to ensure no one was missed.
“@POTUS is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time. The President will proceed with the trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote in a statement.
This afternoon, the President will arrive in the city joined by Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb (D) to promote his $1 trillion infrastructure law, which sets aside $550 billion for transportation, broadband and utilities. Pennsylvania’s infrastructure was ranked seventh-worst in the nation last year.
“At the end of the day, this is critical that we get this funding and we are grateful to have the president coming today,” Pittsburgh mayor Ed Gainey said.