A pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a Washington, D.C., highway after a traffic accident Wednesday, stopping traffic in both directions and leaving multiple people injured.
Chris Geldart, who is the acting deputy mayor for public safety and justice, said in a press conference Wednesday that the situation happened just before noon after a collision involving several vehicles. Based on preliminary findings, he said "everything we see on the accident scene right now leads to this being a collision pulling the bridge off the mooring."
When one reporter suggested the situation could have been worse, Geldart agreed, saying, "We were very lucky, all of us." He then added that people were taken to a nearby hospital, all with non-life-threatening injuries.
On Thursday morning, the D.C. Fire and EMS Twitter account dubbed the incident the "Miracle on DC 295," sharing photos from the wreckage and writing, "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."
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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According to WJLA, officials believe a truck struck the bridge, leading to the collapse. According to a statement obtained by the outlet, Geldart said the bridge was last inspected in February, and the report, released May 25, rated it as "poor condition." He explained the rating is "the threshold that prompts the multiyear planning process to replace the bridge."
A truck reportedly leaked out 25 gallons of diesel fuel, according to WRC-TV, and a D.C. Department of Energy & Environment spokesperson told the outlet that a team used a substance that absorbs the hazardous materials to stop it from affecting waterways via the drains.