Early on Friday morning, emergency officials responded to a terrifying situation in which a snow-covered bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed.
The Fern Hollow Bridge located in Point Breeze, a residential neighborhood in Pittsburgh, is the one that suddenly collapsed. Sadly, there were vehicles on the bridge at this time.
A photo from the scene shows people working together to save lives. Rescuers had to rappel about 150 feet to save people. Meanwhile, other people at the scene started forming a human chain in order to rescue people that were dangling from a bus.
There were a total of 10 people injured and three people were also taken to the hospital. Those three individuals have non-life-threatening injuries. It could have been much worse depending on the number of vehicles on the bridge at the time of its collapse. There were only about three or four.
The U.S. Army Reserve is also working in the area. They will be making sure that there are no people trapped underneath the collapsed bridge at this time. They will deploy drones, as well, to really get a full look at the area. Investigators already know what caused this bridge to collapse.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there was a gas leak in the area that caused the bridge to collapse. Now, this leak is fully under control. People in the area had spoken out about a “strong smell of natural gas in the area,” which led to the gas line being cut for a period of time.
President Joe Biden Going to City
Several families near the bridge received evacuation orders as well. They have since gotten to go home, but officials are still urging people to avoid this area completely. The bridge had an inspection in 2019. At the time, the bridge was ranked “poor” by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory.
Additionally, this collapse actually comes just hours before President Joe Biden heads to the city. He is looking to speak about his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which partially includes bridge maintenance and upkeep. For many people, the entire disaster is a bit of an ironic and eye-opening situation.
“I hope it’s a wake-up call to the nation that we need to make these infrastructure investments,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said, according to ABC News.
The President is aware of the situation and has responded in a statement. He still plans to go to the city at this time. “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 President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” the statement said.