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Frick Park Bridge Collapse: 10 People Injured, 4 Sent To Hospital

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Ten people were injured -- four of them taken to hospitals -- after a bridge collapsed just before rush hour on Pittsburgh's east end Friday morning.

>> PHOTOS: Bridge Collapses In Pittsburgh's Frick Park

Three of those injured when the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed near Frick Park before 7 a.m. were rushed to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. The fourth victim was taken to UPMC Shadyside Hospital, but was released after receiving treatment. At least one of the victims was a first responder. All were said to be in fair condition.

Search dogs were brought in, as were about a dozen NTSB officials, as a chaotic scene began to unfold in the area of Forbes and Braddock avenues, near Point Breeze, just before daylight.

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The Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed early Friday morning, sending a Port Authority bus and several other vehicles tumbling into Hot Dog Dam Dog Park. (Photo: Justin Merriman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Neighbor Wendy Stroh described what she heard.

"It sounded like a huge snow plow ... pushing along the surface with no snow," she said. "I didn't know what it was ... It was very frightening."

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey tweeted a dramatic aerial picture from above the scene of the collapse.

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Several cars as well as a Port Authority bus were involved in the collapse. At least three of the people rushed to hospitals were on the bus at the time of the collapse, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

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Just hours before President Joe Biden's scheduled speech in Pittsburgh about his historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, Gainey said the bridge over Hot Dog Dam Dog Park was inspected just last September. The results of that inspection were not immediately known.

Biden was made aware of the collapse and his team had gotten in touch with state and local officials, including Gainey, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter.

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On the way to his pre-scheduled speech at Mill 19 in Hazelwood, Biden visited the collapse site where he met with local and state officials, including Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who braved the below-freezing temperatures wearing shorts.

During the short visit, Biden said he hadn't known that Pittsburgh had more bridges than any city in the world, and vowed to "fix them all."

Friday's collapse marked a strange coincidence in that Biden was scheduled to talk about his historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan.

WATCH: Mayor Ed Gainey, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and Chief Darryl Jones Provide Update

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"This bipartisan infrastructure law is critical," Gainey said. "At the end of the day it's critical that we get this funding."

Added Fetterman, who said he drove over the bridge just Thursday: "I hope it's a wake-up call to the nation that we need to make these critical investments."

WATCH: KDKA-TV Breaking News Coverage

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Earlier in the day, KDKA-TV's Bryant Reed, who was among the first reporters to arrive at the scene, reported a strong smell of natural gas in the area. That gas line was cut, and the several families who were evacuated from their homes were able to return a short time later. Gas service was restored, Jones said. The collapse ruptured gas lines along the bridge, causing a large gas leak, Public Safety said.

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It's not known what caused the bridge to collapse.

WATCH Bryant Reed's Live Report from Saturday Morning, a Day after the Collapse:

Councilman Corey O'Connor told KDKA in a telephone interview that the collapse could cause traffic headaches for a long time.

"This is a vital road, artery, in our area," he said. "This is a road that a lot of use in the east end, going around the tunnel. We're looking at a couple-year closure here possibly."

Jones said the Salvation Army and Red Cross have been activated to assist.

WATCH: Neighbors Recall What They Saw And Heard

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