Bus Nearly Swallowed by Sinkhole in Downtown Pittsburgh

Authorities secure the scene after a Port Authority bus fell through a sinkhole in Pittsburgh on Oct. 28, 2019.
Darrell Sapp / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

One person was treated for minor injuries after a public transit bus dropped into a sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh on Monday morning.

Extracting the Port Authority bus out of the sinkhole is expected to take hours as authorities wait for a crane to arrive on scene, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety. The bus was waiting at a red light in downtown just before 8 a.m. local time when the back end fell into the sinkhole along with a Kia Optima.

A woman, the single passenger on board, was treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital, authorities said. The bus driver appeared to be safe and unharmed.

“We are grateful for ⁦@PghPublicSafety⁩ and that no one was seriously injured,” the port authority said. “We’re being told a crane needs to be brought in to remove the bus and it will be several hours before it can be extracted. Detours in the area will likely remain in place the remainder of the day.”

The cranes will have to remove the bus after power is shut off to three power lines directly beneath the bus, according to NBC affiliate WXPI. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissirch said workers will be unable to strap the bus to a crane before the lines are turned off.

“(The) problem that we’re experienc(ing) is that we have to lift that Port Authority bus straight up because we have a Duquesne Light electrical vault involved and we have several gas lines involved and we don’t want to create any further problems.”

It will likely take up to four hours to assemble the 300-ton crane and another hour to set it up for it to remove the bus.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Doha Madani