WASHINGTON (WJZ/AP) — A pedestrian bridge collapsed over a highway in northeast DC on Wednesday, sending five people to the hospital. Traffic was snarled for hours, but DC Police announced around 2 a.m. Thursday that all lanes are open to traffic.
The collapse happened just before noon along Interstate 295. The bridge was found to be in poor condition at an inspection just a few months earlier.READ MORE: Baltimore Mayor Says Vaccine ‘Difference Between Life and Death’ As Some City Neighborhoods Only 30% Vaccinated; Mayor, Governor Say No New Restrictions For Now
Investigators believe a truck struck the bridge, causing it to come loose and collapse, said Chris Geldart, the deputy mayor for public safety and justice. Several other vehicles were also involved in the collapse. He cautioned that the investigation was still in its preliminary stages.
The five people taken to the hospital had non-life-threatening injuries, Geldart said.
Chunks of concrete and other debris were strewn across the highway. The bridge was lying atop the truck, which was leaking diesel fuel along the roadway, officials said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday afternoon that there were no recent reports of structural concerns about the bridge. But Geldart said in a statement later Wednesday that the mayor’s statement was incorrect.READ MORE: Police Investigating Fatal Shooting Of Kevin Glendenning At Royal Farms In Rosedale
He said that the bridge was inspected in February and that a subsequent report issued May 25 rated the bridge as being in poor condition. He said the rating — a 4 on a scale of 9 to 0 — marked a threshold prompting a multi-year planning process to replace the bridge. The bridge had previously been rated a 5 — in fair condition — in April 2019.
The Metropolitan Police Department is leading the crash investigation, Geldart said.
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Miracle on DC 295. Not only were there no serious injuries or deaths in the pedestrian bridge collapse, but the mass of debris was removed & highway reopened in little over 12 hours. An array of city agencies including #DCsBravest made this happen. Night photo by @DCFIREBYE. pic.twitter.com/ybBpZK7FUL
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) June 24, 2021
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