Bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed hours before Biden scheduled visit to discuss infrastructure – San Bernardino Sun

ONE snow covered bridge in Pittsburgh crash friday morning, just hours ago President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit the city on a previously scheduled trip to discuss infrastructure.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said at a news conference at the scene no deaths had been reported.

Sheriff Darryl Jones said 10 people were “slightly injured” and three were transported from the scene. None of the injuries were life-threatening, he said.

Jones said four vehicles were on the bridge when it fell. Teams were still doing reconnaissance to make sure no one was under the bridge when it collapsed, he said.

LIVE UPDATE: Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse

According to Amie Downs, a county spokeswoman, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a partial bridge collapse shortly after 6 a.m. Friday.

Only minor injuries have been reported, including the driver of an articulated bus and two passengers, Downs said.

The collapse also cut a natural gas line in the area, Downs said, but that line has since been disconnected. There are some reports of people feeling sick in the area from the natural gas, Downs said, and these people are being treated at the scene.

Pe People Gas spokesman Barry Kukovich confirmed the company had a gas distribution line on the bridge that had collapsed. “It goes under the roadway and then it goes under the bridge,” he said.

Kukovich said there is no evidence at this time that there was a gas explosion before the collapse. He describes the gas line as a distribution line but not a high-pressure gas line.

Pe People’s Gas employees are on the scene assessing the situation, Kukovich said, and nearby customers are experiencing “minimum service disruption.”

The White House said in a statement it was aware of the collapse, and planned to continue its trip.

“The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist motorists on the bridge at the time,” the statement read.

Bridge is ‘vital lifeline’ of area, official says

In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Pennsylvania Governor John Fetterman called the bridge a “critical lifeline” in the Pittsburgh area. The bridge spans Frick Park, one of the city’s largest parks.

“Thankfully, the schools had a two-hour delay because of the weather,” he said, “so the traffic was less than usual, but it was strange to see this bridge.”

When asked about the collapse that occurred on the same day as the President’s visit, Fetterman, a Democrat, said, “This is a terrible way to emphasize our need for infrastructure in the land. How important is this country?”

Jeremy Habowski told CNN he feels lucky to be alive after surviving the house 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 was off the ground,” he told CNN. His car and the others are now sitting on top of what’s left of the bridge.

After things settled down, Habowski checked on another driver, he said. He then climbed the hill to try to prevent other drivers from driving into the debris.

“There’s a lot to be involved in,” he told CNN.

Greg Barnhisel told CNN that he and his wife went to see the bridge still walking distance from their home nearby.

“We live about a quarter of a mile from the bridge. We didn’t hear it collapse,” he said. “By the time we got to the site of the collapse, the roar and the smell of broken gas lines was already in the air.”

Another resident nearby, Wendy Stroh, told CNN affiliate KDKA She said she heard the crash, but thought it was like “a giant snow plow pushing along a rough, snow-free runway surface.”

“It was very scary,” she said. “My God, all these ambulances and fire trucks and what not. Just thinking about the bridge collapsing is a very scary prospect. I cross that bridge all the time.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/28/bridge-in-pittsburgh-collapses-hours-before-scheduled-biden-visit-to-talk-infrastructure/ Bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed hours before Biden scheduled visit to discuss infrastructure – San Bernardino Sun

Tom Vazquez

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