Dozens evacuated after apartment building collapses near Route 30

A building collapsed in East Pittsburgh early Saturday morning.

According to police, the apartment building collapsed on Electric Avenue near Route 30 around 6 a.m.

The building was occupied at the time, and residents were evacuated. The entire complex has around eight buildings, according to residents.

PHOTOS: Residents evacuated after apartment building collapses due to landslide 

"We were evacuating while it was collapsing. It was that quick that it started to fall down," said resident Mona Pearson.

According to fire officials, the evacuated residents were taken to the Double Tree hotel in Monroeville and the Comfort Inn in Wilkins Township.

The residents lost power and gas due to the collapse.

The apartment buildings are below a section of Route 30, where landslides have caused that roadway to shut down.

Those same apartments were evacuated Friday due to falling trees caused by an ongoing landslide on the hillside above.

RELATED HEADLINE: 11 things to know about Route 30 landslide, collapse

"A hero in all of this is the police chief Lori Payne. Yesterday about 2 o'clock she evacuated all the residents in the building that went down and the building adjacent to it. Had she not done that, those residents may have died last night," said John Katz, president of the Brandywine Company, the company that owns the apartments.

Eight apartments were evacuated.

Work is now underway to demolish homes and buildings impacted by the slide.

PennDOT District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said after they noticed Route 30 was sliding more rapidly overnight, potentially 30 to 40 feet, all residents in the nearby apartment buildings were evacuated.

All in all, more than two dozen people were evacuated from the complex and a house at the top of the hillside. No one was hurt.

Route 30 is closed in both directions “long-term,” PennDOT said. Officials said repairs could take months.

PennDOT will be providing shelter for anyone displaced by the landslide for as long as necessary.

PennDOT engineers think they have a solution to repair the hillside, but they won't know for sure until some of the mess is cleared and more investigation is done.


They're asking the public to use caution and stay away from the hillside that's still moving.

PennDOT has released the following updated westbound detour to alleviate traffic on Electric Avenue:

New Posted Westbound Route 30 Detour

  • From westbound Route 30, traffic will turn right onto Greensburg Pike in North Versailles Township
  • Greensburg Pike becomes Monroeville Avenue
  • Turn left onto the Tri-Boro Expressway (Route 130)
  • Turn right onto Brown Avenue (Route 130)
  • Brown Avenue becomes Beulah Road
  • Turn left onto William Penn Highway
  • Turn left onto the ramp to westbound (inbound) I-376 Parkway East
  • Follow I-376 to Wilkinsburg (Exit 78B) interchange

The eastbound detour remains unchanged.

Posted Eastbound Route 30 Detour

  • From eastbound Route 30, all traffic will take the ramp to Electric Avenue toward East Pittsburgh/Turtle Creek
  • Turn right onto Braddock Avenue
  • Turn left onto East Pittsburgh McKeesport Boulevard
  • Turn left onto Navy-Marine Corp Way
  • Turn right onto eastbound Route 30