Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Death toll rises to 35 in Italy bridge collapse; 3 missing

Rescuers work to recover injured people after the Morandi highway bridge collapsed in Genoa northern Italy ANSA via AP Rescuers work to recover injured people after the Morandi highway bridge collapsed in Genoa northern Italy
| 15 August, 2018, 19:58

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the disaster, which killed at least 37 people.

State radio reported Wednesday that some 5-Star lawmakers in 2013 had questioned the wisdom of an ambitious and expensive infrastructure overhaul program as possibly wasteful, but that a post about that on the Movement's site was removed on Tuesday after the bridge's collapse.

Opened in 1967, the bridge is part of the A10 motorway connecting Genoa to France and is named after designer Riccardo Morandi.

Atlantia and Autostrade did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Italy's deputy Premier Matteo Salvini spoke about the withdrawal of the Autostrade's permit and announced a fine of up to 150 million euros and said anyone found responsible for the disaster will be brought to justice. "And that is why the bridge falls", Di Maio said of the holding company that controls Autostrade Per Italia.

One truck was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge.

"All accessible spaces have been explored, now we are moving the largest pieces of debris", Gissi said.

"Our infrastructure is aging at a point where we have structurally deficient bridges that we know about... depending on the environment you can have components corrode".

More than 200 meters (650 feet) of the 1960s bridge crumpled without warning as traffic crossed the busy stretch of motorway on Tuesday, in the deadliest disaster of its kind in Europe since 2001.

Photos and video footage of the incident have emerged, showing the devastating aftermath which has left the northern port city reeling, and the world stunned.


Italian President Sergio Mattarella said a "catastrophe" had hit Genoa and the whole of Italy.

"The tragic facts in Genoa remind us of the public investments that we so badly need", said Claudio Borghi, the League's economy spokesman.

A former Italian footballer has spoken of the "apocalypse" he witnessed after he had a lucky escape.

"I was driving along the bridge, and at a certain point I saw the road in front of me collapse, and I went down with the auto", Davide Capello told TV news channel Sky TG24.

On Twitter he says "we are following minute by minute the situation of the bridge collapse in Genoa".

Pope Francis has led prayers for the victims in St Peter's Square, saying: "I am especially thinking of all those tried by the tragedy in Genoa yesterday, which caused victims and a sense of loss in the population". Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes in the area. The risk of fatality from a bridge collapse is around 1 in 100 million per year, which is roughly 100 times less likely than being struck by lightning. "I'm sure the city will pull together and look ahead with great courage, as it always has in the past".

"When I heard it had collapsed, I wasn't surprised". Some of the wreckage landed in a dry riverbed that could flood when the rainy season resumes in a few weeks.

Those on the bridge included families in their cars, people going to work, people going on holiday. "It could have happened to anyone", he added.

A pensioner died in October 2016 when his auto was crushed by a collapsing bridge over a dual carriageway between Milan and Lecco. "When I saw the thing was so big, that everything had fallen, I took the keys and got out of there".

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