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Rescuers Formed a Human Chain to Save People Dangling From Collapsed Bridge


Vehicles including a Port Authority bus are left stranded after a bridge collapsed along Forbes Avenue on January 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Vehicles including a Port Authority bus are left stranded after a bridge collapsed along Forbes Avenue on January 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

A snow-covered bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed early Friday morning, hours before President Joe Biden was expected to appear in the city to talk about infrastructure investments.

Several cars and a city bus were on the bridge near Frick Park when it collapsed around 6:45 a.m, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The bridge had been listed in poor condition for a decade, the paper reported.

“There was a boom, then a monster sound,” Melissa Bakth, who lives near the park, told the paper. “It was so loud, and it didn’t stop. It could’ve been me. I’m on that bridge every day. It’s very, very busy.”

Ten people suffered minor injuries, city officials said, but there were no fatalities. Rescuers were forced to rappel some 150 feet and form a human chain to reach the bus, according to the AP

“If this would have occurred an hour later, this is a road that gets probably about 15,000 cars on it a day, and if it was rush hour, we would be looking at a couple hundred cars down in that valley,” Pittsburgh city councilman Corey O’Connell told CNN

“We got very, very lucky today, and hopefully those individuals at the hospital recover quickly and they’re home safe in the next couple days,” O’Connell told CNN. 

Even before the bridge collapse, Biden was set to travel to Pittsburgh on Friday to speak at Carnegie Mellon University. In his remarks, Biden was expected to tout the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year, according to his White House schedule. 

“The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” the White House said in a statement before he left for Pittsburgh. “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.”

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