Ten people were injured Friday morning when a snow-covered bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed ahead of President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to the area to talk about infrastructure.
Pittsburgh Public Safety announced at about 7 a.m. that the bridge, on the outskirts of Frick Park, had collapsed.
Three of the people hurt were a driver and two passengers who were on a bus when the bridge collapsed. Crews had formed a human chain to help rescue multiple people from the bus, which was left dangling off the bridge, The Associated Press reported.
Responders who slipped and fell were also among the injured.
Darryl Jones, the city’s fire chief, told NBC affiliate WPXI of Pittsburgh that crews had to rappel about 100 feet to help people.
At about 9 a.m., search and rescue teams were searching under the bridge to make sure people were not trapped, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety.
Officials urged everyone to avoid the area. The collapse caused a gas leak, prompting authorities to cut a gas line due to a â€œstrong smell of natural gas,” Pittsburgh Public Safety said.
It also prompted Pittsburgh Public SchoolsÂ officials to transition all K-5, K-8, 6-8 and Special Schools to remote learning for the day “due to the impact of a bridge collapse in the East End and a high volume of bus driver call-offs.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said his team was “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.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would still make the trip to West Mifflin, 10 miles outside of Pittsburgh, â€œand will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide.â€
She said the president â€œis grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time.â€