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OSHA investigating Pittsburgh bridge fire

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating the construction fire that prompted closure of a major bridge into downtown Pittsburgh.

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issues citations and fines if it finds violations of federal safety and health standards or “serious hazards.”

Area director Christopher Robinson said the agency has six months to complete the probe.

The Liberty Bridge was closed following Friday’s fire that began on plastic pipes and a construction tarp as crews were cutting steel as part of an $80 million reconstruction project.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials said the blaze damaged a steel beam critical to the stability of the bridge, which spans the Monongahela River.

PennDOT says the contractor faces fines totaling $213,600 a day for each day the bridge remains closed.

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