Pittsburgh Bridge collapses and city bus falls into the canyon

Pittsburgh (AP) — A 50-year-old bridge collapses in Pittsburgh early Friday, and rescuers rappel down a canyon to form a human chain, reaching several passengers on a municipal bus that plunged with Span. I needed to. No deaths have been reported.

The collapse came a few hours ago President Joe Biden has arrived in the city To promote his $ 1 trillion infrastructure law, which has allocated approximately $ 1.6 billion to maintain bridges in Pennsylvania.

At least four people needed hospital treatment. At that time, five other vehicles were also on the bridge. The cause is under investigation and the crew searched for additional victims under the rubble.

A large crack appeared at the end of the bridge, and the segmented bus landed 150 feet (46 meters) below the canyon, as if it had been hit by an earthquake. The car landed upside down in front of a bus operated by transportation in the Pittsburgh area.

According to city officials, the Forbes Avenue Bridge over Frick Park’s Fern Hollow Creek got off at 6:39 am. According to witnesses, there was a swooshing sound and the smell of natural gas, followed by a loud noise from the collapse.

“The first sound was much more intense and rattled. I think it was a structure where the deck hit the ground,” said Ken Doino, a resident who lives four houses away. “That is, at that point the whole house rattled.”

A leak occurred due to a gas pipe rupture along the bridge, cutting off the gas supply within 30 minutes, city officials said.

When Biden toured the scene, police officers told him to those who were running to help first responders get people out of the car. He called it a miracle.

“That’s really, it’s amazing,” Biden said.

By noon, three adults had been treated and all were in good condition, according to the UPMC Hospital System. The fourth was treated and released.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate.agency Tweeted the photo late Friday On-site Chair Jennifer Homendi

A search and rescue team investigated the area, said Sam Wasserman, a spokesman for Ed Gainey, Mayor of Pittsburgh. The drone was brought to help.

Most of the 10 people evaluated for injuries were the first responders to be checked for fatigue or cold and snowy weather, Gainy said.

The segmented bus operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny had two passengers in addition to the driver, said agency spokesman Adam Blanddorf.

Bus driver Darryl Luciani told WPXI-TV that he believed that the bridge had collapsed as soon as he reached it.

“I could just feel it,” Luciani told the station. “The bus bounces and sways and seems to be long, but it probably took less than a minute for the bus to finally stop, and I’m grateful that the people on the bus didn’t get hurt.”

He said the passengers were okay, so he pulled the air brakes and waited for help to arrive. First responders arrived at them after getting off with a flashlight in the darkness before dawn, and used ropes to help him and the other crew members be safe, Luciani said.

Approximately two hours after the collapse, Brandolph said one of the passengers was on another bus, began complaining of injuries and was taken to the hospital. According to Brandolph, the driver and other passengers were not injured.

The bus started its route in downtown Pittsburgh and headed for a community on the outskirts of Bradock.

“Judging by the time of day, if this bus had been traveling inbound towards downtown, it would have been more crowded and obviously more dire,” Brand said. Rufu said.

There are seven or eight cameras on the bus, and footage of the collapse will be part of the investigation, Brandolph said.

Neighbors said workers at the gas company made a door-to-door canvassing to evacuate them from the immediate vicinity before the gas was successfully shut off.

“Apart from this invariant noise, we were able to start smelling the gas. It was really scary. Then, with that smell we two said, dressed from here Let’s get out, “said Lin Klinsky, the house closest to the bridge. ..

“It sounded more like a meteorological phenomenon than anything else,” said Douglas Gwilym, who was scraping about an inch of snow when he heard the noise. “That was all I had to compare it-it was this weird, grunt.”

The bridge is an important artery connecting Squirrel Hill and the Oakland district and is a popular route to downtown Pittsburgh. Authorities told the driver to avoid the area. Some neighbors said the two-hour school delay driven by the weather could have prevented a much more serious human tragedy.

At the scene of the collapse, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman called it “just a terrible, surreal scene.”

“We hope that it is a call to the country to awaken that we need to invest in these infrastructures,” Fetterman said.

According to 2005 estimates, the steel bridge, built in 1970, carries about 14,500 vehicles per day.

The latest test was done in September, but the report wasn’t readily available, according to Wasserman.

However, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Catalog, an inspection of the city-owned bridge in September 2019 revealed that the deck and superstructure were in poor condition.

A spreadsheet on the State Department of Transport’s website stated that the bridge was in poor condition overall. This means that, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, “the major structural elements have deteriorated.”


Scolforo reported from Harrisburg, PA. Detroit Associated Press author Tom Chrischer and Michael Rubincam in northeastern Pennsylvania contributed to this report.