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Rescue mission underway after Italian bridge collapses in Genoa

15 August, 2018, 14:23 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Vehicles on the bridge plummeted as far as 90 metres. Authorities say at least 35 people have been killed with the

At least 22 people have been killed on Tuesday after a giant motorway bridge collapsed in the Italian city of Genoa, with more feared dead in what one official described as an "immense tragedy".

Cars are blocked on the Morandi highway bridge after a section of it collapsed, in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Firefighters said that there are concerns about gas lines.

Working with heavy equipment, rescuers climbed over concrete slabs with sniffer dogs all through the night and into the day, searching for survivors or bodies.

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A rescue mission is under way after a major motorway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa collapsed.

Davide Capello, a former professional football player, was on a motorway bridge in Genoa in Italy when it collapsed.

"They will have to pay, pay for everything, and pay a lot", he said.

In a 2016 interview posted online, Antonio Brencich, a professor specialising in reinforced concrete construction at the University of Genoa, said "this bridge is usually characterised as a masterpiece of engineering, but in reality it is a failure of engineering".

Between firefighters police and other emergency service, around a thousand people have been mobilised in the rescue effort, according to the Civil Protection service.

His vehicle was trapped in the rubble, but Mr Capello reportedly sustained only minor injuries.

"I saw the green lorry in front of me stop and then reverse so I stopped too, locked the truck and ran", he told AFP.


"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an enormous tragedy", Transport and Infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

Dangers include unstable piles of rubble, while the remaining parts of the bridge are being assessed for further risk of collapse.

Images from the scene showed a mangled mass of buckled vehicles and slabs of bitumen torn up as the bridge, built in the late 1960s, came tumbling down.

He added that he was committed to finding those responsible for the "unacceptable disaster".

Many in the city had said the 1967 bridge was in need of revamping.

He also said the government would carry out nationwide structural inspections of aging bridges and tunnels across the country with a view to launching a program of remedial works if required.

Within hours of the disaster, the anti-establishment government which took office in June said it showed Italy needed to spend more to improve its dilapidated infrastructure, ignoring European Union budget constraints if necessary.

One factory, immediately next to one of the viaduct's support columns, was virtually empty on Tuesday on the eve of a national holiday, and seems to have sustained minimal damage.

Autostrade said the bridge maintenance programme had been based on the results of its regular checks and had also been approved by the transport ministry.

"When I heard it had collapsed, I wasn't surprised".

"I don't know how my auto wasn't crushed".

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