Ten people were hurt Friday morning after a snow-covered bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh, just before President Joe Biden was due to visit the area to discuss infrastructure.
Pittsburgh Public Safety reported that the bridge in Frick Park had collapsed at approximately 7 a.m.
A driver and two passengers that were on a bus hit by the collapsed bridge were among the injured. The Associated Press reported that crews created a human chain to rescue several people from the bus.
Responders who fell and slipped were also among those injured.
Darryl Jones, the fire chief of the city, stated that crews had to descend about 100 feet to reach people, according to WPXI, NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh.
Officials urged people to stay clear of the area. According to Pittsburgh Public Safety, the collapse resulted in a large gas leak.
Some families had to be evacuated from their homes but were allowed to return in the afternoon.
Witnesses claimed that the loud sound of the collapse was followed immediately by the hissing sound and natural gas smell.
Who Is Responsible For The Bridge Collapse?
The National Transportation Safety Board stated Friday that they would be sending a team of ten officials to investigate the collapse and determine its cause.
Four snow-covered vehicles were seen in aerial drone footage, while the bus was still on the bridge. One car was also overturned.
Officials from Pittsburgh Public Schools decided to make all K-5, K-8 and 6-8 schools remote for the day to alleviate any further transportation issues. A number of neighbors suggested that a two-hour delay in school due to weather could have prevented a much worse human tragedy.
Biden will deliver a speech to support his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which has earmarked $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania’s bridge maintenance. He visited the spot where the bridge was destroyed before delivering his speech.
Has The Forbes Bridge Always Been A Danger?
This bridge is an important route that connects to the Squirrel Hill or Oakland neighborhoods and is a popular route towards downtown Pittsburgh.
It was last inspected in September. However, the report wasn’t immediately available.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory, a September 2019 inspection of the bridge found the deck and superstructure in poor condition. The bridge’s overall condition was listed on the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as “poor.” This means that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has seen the progression of primary structural elements.
What Should You Do If You Were Injured In The Forbes Bridge Collapse?
Any kind of collapsing building, trench, stadium, or public infrastructure means you may be eligible to get compensation for your injuries. Our infrastructure and bridge collapse attorneys at McEldrew Purtell have been fighting for victims and winning millions of dollars worth of settlements for our clients.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a bridge or other public infrastructure collapse don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys today.