Officials said 10 people were injured on Friday morning in the collapse. The bridge, located in the Point Breeze neighborhood, carries Forbes Avenue over Frick Park, according to a Twitter post from the city’s Department of Public Safety, which said the collapse occurred at around 7 a.m. ET.
“The good thing, at this point, is that there’s no fatalities,” Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey told reporters at the scene. “We were fortunate.”
Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones told the Post-Gazette that three people were transported to the hospital. None had injuries that were considered life-threatening, he added.
While on the scene, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said that the bridge is “a major artery” for certain commuters.
“To think about what a major artery this is for so many people coming from the East End, the eastern suburbs through Squirrel Hill, and on into Oakland and town … a lot of work is going to need to be done,” he said.
Fitzgerald told the outlet that the bridge collapse caused a significant natural gas leak. Crews from the Peoples Natural Gas were able to shut down the gas leak, he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter that Biden was informed of the bridge collapse and would go ahead with his trip to Pittsburgh as planned.
“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,” Psaki wrote, noting that Biden was “grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time” and that the president would “stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said his office is “monitoring the situation.”
“We are monitoring the situation in Pittsburgh and prepared to provide support as needed. Pittsburgh residents: Please stay safe and continue to avoid the area,” he wrote on Twitter.
The cause of the collapse is currently under investigation. City officials said the bridge was most recently inspected in September 2021.
Biden was slated to visit Pittsburgh to promote his $1 trillion infrastructure deal that passed in Congress last year. Some Democrats seized on the collapse and claimed it’s a sign that the United States needs an infrastructure overhaul.
“I hope it’s a wake-up call to the nation that we need to make these infrastructure investments,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania, said at the site of the collapse.