At least 7 people were injured Wednesday after a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto interstate 295 in Northeast Washington DC, trapping a semi-truck that leaked gallons of diesel fuel, as well as additional vehicles.
Five people were transported to local hospitals with non life-threatening injuries, two more were evaluated at the scene. First responders did not find anyone trapped in vehicles stuck under the bridge.
At approximately 11:52 am, a collision occurred that separated the bridge near Kenilworth Road from the mooring, sending the bridge crashing down across three lanes of traffic, with fencing from the bridge blocking lanes in the other direction, according to Acting Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Christopher Geldart.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Geldart said he believed that the bridge came down as a result of a collision with the bridge, adding that a full crime scene and crash investigation was to follow.
295, a busy throughway in passing though eastern DC into Maryland is expected to be closed through Thursday.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was "grateful" that first responders got to the scene very quickly, and urged commuters to avoid the area.
She said that when the bridge was last inspected in February, there were no structural concerns.
Geldart added that the investigation would go back and investigate bridges from the crash back down the highway to see if any other bridges were impacted by the collision.
The bridge has a 14 foot heigh restriction, and Geldart said while the truck itself fits under the bridge, the cargo may not have.
The truck partially trapped under the bridge and leaked about 25 gallons of fuel into nearby drains. Materials were put down to absorb diesel and to avoid it leaking into nearby waterways, a DC Department of Energy & Environment spokesperson said.