Today President Donald Trump invited a group of first responders from the massive fire and bridge collapse of I-85 in Atlanta to the White House.
At 2 p.m., Trump welcomed 15 officers from the Georgia State Patrol, the Atlanta Police Department, and the Atlanta Fire Department into the Oval Office for a 30 minute meeting. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao was also on hand to congratulate the first responders on their extraordinary response to the disaster which prevented any injuries or deaths.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) April 13, 2017
The first responders began the meeting by presenting Trump with a fire axe.
Trump told the first responders, “I’m honored to be here with you today and to welcome to the White House the heroes who responded to the terrible bridge collapse on I-85 two weeks ago in Atlanta. That was something. The whole world was watching that one….Your skill and courage saved many lives and represented true strength and the strength of America. Really great job, fellas, I’m proud of you.”
President Trump also used the moment to shine a spotlight on his massive infrastructure plan: “What happened in Atlanta is a painful reminder of the critical important of infrastructure. We’re going to be doing a lot with infrastructure. You’ll be seeing that over the coming weeks. A tremendous amount.”
In Roosevelt Room, Pres Trump presented with fire axe at start of meeting with first responders from Atlanta’s I-85 fire & bridge collapse. pic.twitter.com/4nFTPzqfrI
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 13, 2017
The fact that Trump had just ordered the use of a massive bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan did somewhat detract from the attention paid to the first responders as the President fielded questions about his decision to drop the never-before-used 21,000 “mother of all bombs” during the Oval Office meeting.
Donald Trump on MOAB dropped on ISIS in Afghanistan:
— STOCK MONSTER (@StockMonsterUSA) April 13, 2017
The March 30 bridge collapse happened during rush hour and was at first feared to be the work of terrorists. Investigators later charged 39 year old Basil Eleby with starting the fire. They believe that he set a chair on fire, which in turn ignited polyethylene pipes which were being stored under the bridge.
Crews must replace 350 feet of the bridge in both directions on I-85.
The bridge is scheduled to reopen June 15.