Biden visits scene of Pittsburgh bridge collapse | News | DW | 28.01.2022

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Biden visits scene of Pittsburgh bridge collapse

A bridge has collapsed in the US city of Pittsburgh, leaving several people with minor injuries and highlighting the woeful state of some US infrastructure just as President Biden was due to speak on the subject.

A collapsed bridge

The bridge was one of 44,000 in the US deemed to be in 'poor condition' by the Department of Transportation

A bridge collapsed in the US city of Pittsburgh on Friday morning, authorities announced.

Mayor Ed Gainey arrived at the scene later in the morning. He told reporters that 10 people had received attention at the scene with three more being taken to hospital for minor injuries, but there were no fatalities.

Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said that four vehicles were involved, with unverified photos showing several cars stuck in the wreckage. One of the vehicles was a commuter bus.

Neighbors reportedly heard a continuous rumbling in the early hours of the morning.

City authorities called the road and bridge a "major artery" for the city.

Built in 1970, the four-lane bridge carried an average of 14,500 vehicles per day along Forbes Avenue, one of the city's main roads, according to Transportation Department data.

Several nearby homes were temporarily evacuated after a natural gas leak caused by the collapse, which was later brought under control.

Biden at the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh

President Biden arrived on the scene later on Friday, with his Pittsburgh visit already planned before the bridge collapsed

US President Joe Biden visited the scene of the collapse, saying "the idea that we have been so far behind on infrastructure, for so many years — it's just mind boggling."

He promised to fix the 31 bridges in Pittsburgh rated as in "poor condition" by authorities.

Biden had already been on his way to visit Pittsburgh for an unconnected event. He was, coincidentally, planning to discuss the issue of infrastructure.

Biden has pushed for a $1 trillion government spending bill to improve the country's vast network of roads and bridges, many of which are in need of urgent repairs.

ab,es/msh (dpa, AP, Reuters)