In Ridgway, Pennsylvania today, three workers were injured when a bridge collapsed. One of the men had to be evacuated by helicopter for medical attention. The bridge was part of a rebuild project, and had already been in use for 103 years. The portion of the bridge that collapsed was slated for destruction when it fell.
One worker was operating an excavator and two others were walking on the structure when it collapsed.
According to local news sources, there were no injuries to the general public, and there was no traffic on the Ridgway bridge at the time. However, about 5,500 vehicles do use the bridge daily.
God be with the men who fell victim to the bridge collapse. Praying the other side holds up, please keep the volunteers helping safe.
— Kara (@kara_notkara) June 18, 2015
“The excavator was sitting in the middle of the bridge, and two guys were walking across the bridge, and it just collapsed,” the local fire chief told The Associated Press.
This bridge collapse in Pennsylvania echoes the memory of another, memorialized only yesterday. On June 17, 1958, seventy-nine workers were working on a new bridge in British Columbia when the bridge collapsed in the middle of construction. Eighteen workers died that day, as well as a scuba diver aiding in rescue and recovery efforts. That collapse plunged workers 175 feet to the water below, many of them harnessed to heavy equipment.
Country music star Jimmy Dean memorialized the British Columbia collapse with his song “Steel Men.” That bridge was named Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing in honor of those men who died.
The Ridgway bridge in today’s collapse incident spans Elk Creek in Elk County about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Local news also has updated that all workers on the Ridgway bridge are out of harm’s way and no one is believed to be trapped in the collapse.
Reports indicate all possibly trapped in Pennsy Bridge collapse are out of harm's way; one possible injury requiring medical helo transport.
— The Bradford Era (@TheBradfordEra) June 18, 2015
— 6 News (@WJACTV) June 18, 2015