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Truck may have struck pedestrian bridge that collapsed in DC Wednesday

Truck may have struck pedestrian bridge that collapsed in DC Wednesday
A truck sits under a collapsed pedestrian bridge along Kenilworth Avenue & Polk Street Northeast in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via AP)

WASHINGTON — A pedestrian bridge collapsed over a highway in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, June 23, sending five people to the hospital. Traffic was expected to be snarled for hours.

The collapse happened just before noon along Interstate 295 in Northeast Washington. The bridge was found to be in poor condition at an inspection just a few months earlier.

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, and both directions of traffic were expected to be closed at least until late Friday. The bridge was laying 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.

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 multiyear 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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The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. The Trucker Media Group is subscriber of The Associated Press has been granted the license to use this content on TheTrucker.com and The Trucker newspaper in accordance with its Content License Agreement with The Associated Press.
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