There were minor injuries from the collapse but no fatalities, said authorities, who also said they were flying drones to make sure no one is under any collapsed sections.
Fire Chief Darryl Jones said there had been 10 “minor injuries” and three people were transported from the scene. None of the injuries were life-threatening, he said. Three or four vehicles were on the bridge when it fell, Jones said.
Sam Wasserman, a spokesperson for Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, said a few hours after the collapse that officials were evaluating the scene and an urban search-and-rescue team was still combing the area for any other possible victims.
He said most of the 10 people who were evaluated for injuries were first responders checked for exhaustion or because of the cold and snowy weather. Three people were taken to hospitals and none had critical injuries, Wasserman said.
Wasserman said the two-part, elongated Port Authority bus was on the bridge when it collapsed, with a driver and at least one passenger who were both evaluated by emergency medical responders.
A strong smell of natural gas has been reported in the area, police said, later adding that a gas line had been cut in the area.
At the site of the collapse, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called it “just an awful, surreal scene.”
“I hope it’s a wake-up call to the nation that we need to make these infrastructure investments,” Fetterman said.
The scene was reminiscent of the aftermath of an earthquake. There was a large crack on the end where the bus was, he said. There was also a car upside down in front of the bus.
The Red Cross has been contacted to assist victims, and residents are asked to avoid the area.
The Allegheny County Police Department was notified about a partial bridge collapse sometime after 6am on Friday (10pm AEDT), according to Amie Downs, a spokesperson for the county.
Four vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the collapse, Downs said, and only minor injuries had been reported, among them the driver of an articulated bus and two passengers.
Jeremy Habowski told CNN he feels lucky to be alive after surviving the collapse. He and other drivers were unable to stop in time after the bridge gave way, he said.
“The scariest part was definitely going over the edge because there was a gap and my car left the ground,” he told CNN. His car and others are now sitting on top of what remains of the bridge.
Once things settled, Habowski checked on another driver, he said. Then he climbed up the hill to try and stop other drivers from driving into the debris.
“It was a lot to take in,” he told CNN.
Greg Barnhisel lives about a quarter-mile from where the bridge collapse, so he and his wife went to see it on foot, he told CNN.
“We didn’t hear it collapse,” he said. “When we got to the site of the collapse, the roaring sound and the smell of the broken gas line were overwhelming.”
“It’s very frightening,” she said. “My goodness, all these ambulances and fire trucks and what not. Just the thought of the bridge collapsing is a very scary prospect. I cross that bridge all the time.”
“Thankfully, schools were on a two-hour delay for weather,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman told CNN’s New Day.
“So the traffic was less than it would have been normally on a normal day, but it’s surreal to see this bridge.”
Asked about the collapse coming the same day of the President’s visit, Fetterman, a Democrat, said, “This is a horrible way to underscore just how critical our infrastructure needs are in this country.”
Biden is aware of the collapse, the White House said in a statement, and plans to proceed with his trip.
“The President is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time,” the statement reads.