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Pics: Large DC pedestrian bridge collapses on critical highway; Injuries reported

Collapsed pedestrian bridge outside Washington, DC (DC Fire and EMS/Released)
June 23, 2021

At least six people were injured after a pedestrian bridge collapsed over a major highway outside Washington, D.C., Wednesday, according to local authorities.

DC Fire and EMS tweeted that the bridge collapsed over 1-295 before Polk Street NE around 12 p.m. Of the six injured, four have been transported to nearby hospitals.

Authorities dispatched a Hazmat unit to mitigate a diesel fuel leak stemming from a truck that is partially stuck underneath the bridge. The collapse, which is blocking both directions of traffic, struck at least one other vehicle.

The Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) confirmed on Twitter that all lanes on I-295, both northbound and southbound, are blocked due to the collapse. 

“UPDATE: Road Closure. DC-295 NB/SB north of Benning Avenue. NE DC. All lanes are blocked in both directions for a pedestrian bridge collapse,” MATOC tweeted. “[Northbound] traffic is diverted to Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue. [Southbound] traffic is diverted to Eastern Avenue. Seek alternate routes.”

Earlier Wednesday, MATOC tweeted that the collapse was only causing delays, writing, “[Northbound] delays are approximately 3 miles, [Southbound] delays are approximately 1.5 miles.”

WUSA 9’s Susan Phillips tweeted an aerial image of the collapse, noting that no individuals were trapped under the bridge.

Matthew Torres with WUSA 9 spoke with a witness at the scene, who said she had just crossed the bridge before it came down.

“I saw the truck just coming through, and what happened was the truck just came through and it must have tilted or hit the side of the bridge or whatever and the bridge just came on down,” the witness said, according to a video shared by Torres on Twitter.

“I didn’t know it was that light that it would hit it just like that, that a tap, for it to happen that way ,” she continued. “The sound was like a boom, like it just crashed down and you could see the debris. Everything is still there. The truck is still there.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tweeted his support for those injured in the collapse, adding that the incident proves the need to improved infrastructure.

“My thoughts are with those injured by the collapse of the pedestrian bridge in NE DC this afternoon. This incident reaffirms the need for robust investments in our infrastructure systems to protect our communities and ensure events like this don’t happen.”