At least five people were injured after a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a busy highway in Washington DC on Wednesday.
Officials said a vehicle crashed into the walkway around noon, sending it crumbling down onto several cars driving along I-295. Authorities said five of the people in those cars were injured, but not fatally.
“At approximately 11:52 this morning, we had a collision with the bridge right here,” Chris Geldart, DC’s deputy mayor for public safety, said at a press conference in front of the wreckage. “The result of that collision caused multiple cars to be involved. Five of the folks that were in those cars were transferred to local hospitals, all with non-life-threatening injuries.”
The city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, also spoke at the press conference.
“Avoid the area,” she warned residents. “I’m very thankful for our first responders, who got here very quickly.”
She added that the collapse appeared to be caused by the collision, not structural issues with the bridge itself. She said the walkway had last been inspected in February.
Mr Geldart said it may take cleanup crews “up through tomorrow” to clear the wreckage. He did not have an estimate of how long it would take to replace the bridge.
Both Mr Geldart and Ms Bowser emphasized that the crash was still being investigated, and much about what happened is not known yet.
Reporters asked how Mr Geldart felt that no one had been killed.
“We’re very lucky,” he said.