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Anger grows in Italy as bridge toll rises to 38

15 August, 2018, 20:02 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Italy motorway bridge tragedy

Drone footage has captured the harrowing aftermath of a bridge collapse in Genoa, as rescue efforts continued into the night in the hope of finding more survivors.

Rome: The death toll in the collapse of a bridge in the Italian city of Genoa rose to 37 even as rescuers continue to search for possible survivors, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday.

Three French citizens are among dozens of dead in a highway bridge collapse in Italy at the height of holiday travel season.

Buildings under the bridge were damaged in the collapse and there is concern that the rest of the bridge could fall, he said.

Many in the city had said the 1967 bridge needed shoring up.

Emergency personnel search through debris from the collapsed Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy, on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

Motorist Alessandro Megna told RAI state radio he had been in a traffic jam below the bridge and seen the collapse.

The statement goes on to say that "a bridge-crane was installed to allow maintenance works to be carried out" adding that, "the work and status of the viaduct were subject to constant observation and supervision" by their Genoa division.

But Stefano Marigliani, the motorway operator Autostrade's official responsible for the Genoa area, told Reuters the bridge was "constantly monitored and supervised well beyond what the law required".

"I felt the bridge was shaking and I tried to reverse".

Morandi had used a similar technique for other works, including the longer and similarly problematic General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in Venezuela, completed in 1962.

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The bridge, which was built in the 1960s, is an important route for moving goods from local ports, and also serves the Italian Riviera and southern coast of France.

"The causes of the collapse will be the object of in-depth analysis" by the company as soon as it can safely access the site, Autostrade said.

But the head of the civil protection agency, Angelo Borrelli, said he was not aware that any maintenance work was being done on the bridge.

More than 30 vehicles crashed to the ground when the suspension bridge failed during a storm on Tuesday.

The University of Bath's Martin Fullekrug said "lightning generated heat could result in evaporating water to very high pressure and produce a subsequent crack or burst of critical support material, similar to the bark of a tree disintegrating after a lightning strike".

Some 200 firefighters were on the scene, the fire service said, and Sky Italia television said four people had been pulled from the rubble.

The break sent huge slabs of concrete plummeting into two warehouses, some railroad tracks and a riverbed below the bridge.

The government has pledged to increase public investments and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from EU deficit calculations.

Genoa's leading public prosecutor Francesco Cozzi on Wednesday said that the incident "definitely wasn't bad luck".

Italy's transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, says the leaders of the private company that manages many of Italy's highways - including the section of a bridge that collapsed in Genoa - should resign. Defence minister Elisabetta Trenta said the army was ready to offer manpower and vehicles to help with the rescue operations.

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