Killed in Bridge Collapse in Genoa

Italy motorway bridge tragedy

Investigators are also working to determine what caused a 260ft-long stretch of highway to break off from the 150ft-high bridge in the port city.

Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister, said it was hard to tell how many people were still unaccounted for simply because they were on holiday or "under the rubble".

While around a dozen apartment blocks under the shadow of the viaduct were largely spared the impact of the falling concrete, the Liguria regional government said some 632 people have been evacuated.

More than 30 people were killed on Tuesday when a vast span of the Morandi bridge collapsed during a heavy rainstorm, sending about 35 cars and several trucks plunging 45-metres (150 feet) onto railway tracks below.

Italy's anti-establishment government, outraged at the deadly collapse of a 50-year-old bridge, has presented the disaster as a warning to Brussels to give it more leeway to upgrade the country's ageing infrastructure. "People are in shock". Oh God!"-showed a flash of light as the bridge crumbled out of view".

NurPhoto via Getty Images Rescuers have worked throughout the night and into Wednesday to search for survivors and recover bodies. At least two more were pulled out.

Serious questions are being raised about the state of fix of the Genoa bridge that collapsed, with the city council being told in 2012 it could fall down in 10 years. "The risk of collapses is underestimated, the works built at that time are coming to an age when they are at risk".

"We can not know if there are survivors remaining, but it's our job to search". "The increasing number of collapses we are seeing in recent years is likely to worsen as deterioration, and inspection and maintenance programs continue to have their budgets reduced". "In the '90s they added some reinforcements on one part, but also underneath you can see rust".

The bridge forms part of a motorway that is operated by Autostrade, a unit of Milan-listed Atlantia group.

"Autostrade per l'Italia was not able to fulfill its obligations under the contract regulating management of this infrastructure", Danilo Toninelli said on RAI 1 state TV, adding that he would also seek to levy heavy fines against the company. "Autostrade had to maintain it but didn't".

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, of the anti-business 5-Star Movement, alleged Autostraade's holding company took profits "instead of investing money for maintenance".

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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. He also told RAI television the government meant to cancel its deal with the company to manage the A10 toll motorway connecting Genoa to the French border.

Stefano Marigliani, a senior executive at Autostrade in charge of the part of the toll road network linking the French and Italian Rivieras that includes the bridge, told the Financial Times that the structure "was monitored constantly beyond legal requirements" and that there was "no reason to consider it risky".

Meanwhile, Autostrade said the bridge was constantly monitored beyond legal requirements.

The tender would have covered strengthening of the bridge's pier cables, including those of pier nine, the one that collapsed on Tuesday.

The Italian government, governed by a coalition of the Five Star Movement and Lega Nord, has opened an investigation to establish the cause of the collapse, which occurred during a period of torrential rain.

It has been riddled with structural problems since its construction, which has led to expensive maintenance and severe criticism from engineering experts.

The aging bridge, designed by the renowned Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi, was fraught with "structural doubts".

Rescuers work among the rubble of the Morandi highway bridge that collapsed in Genoa, northern Italy.

In 2016, Antonio Brencich of the University of Genoa's engineering faculty also sounded the alarm. "I looked up and saw the bridge pylon fall", he said.

On Tuesday specialist engineering website "Ingegneri.info" published a piece that highlighted longstanding concerns over the bridge, calling it "a tragedy waiting to happen".

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

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