Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins
Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins
ANSA via AP
Rescuers work to recover injured people after the Morandi highway bridge collapsed in Genoa northern Italy
15 August, 2018, 15:27
"It continues to be a rescue operation until they have searched all the rubble", Italian fire official Emmanuelle Gissi told ABC News.
A bridge like this is usually created to last at least 100 years, so the bridge wasn't too old to survive.
Speaking to the faithful in St. Peter's Square, Francis expressed his "spiritual closeness" to the victims, the injured and their families, and the hundreds of local people who were forced to evacuate their homes in the area.
One lorry was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge.
Restructuring work was also reported to have been carried out on the bridge in 2016.
Rescue workers recover a body at the site of the collapsed Morandi Bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa, Italy.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the thoughts of French people were with the victims and their nearest and dearest, and that France was ready to provide whatever support was necessary.
"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.
"Unfortunately the toll has risen to 35 in the Genoa tragedy, including three children aged eight, 12 and 13 years old", Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, praising firefighters who worked tirelessly through the night.
"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens", he said.
"We're now at 38 confirmed deaths and some people missing", Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters on the sidelines of an event in the southern region of Calabria. "We can't live with infrastructures built in the 1950s and 1960s".
Footage captured the moment the rescue workers retrieved a man who had been caught in the mangled ruins of his auto, suspended in the air after the collapse of the bridge.
Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli told Italian state television the disaster pointed to a lack of maintenance, adding that "those responsible will have to pay".
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.
Autostrade said work to shore up the road foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse.
"Some maintenance intervention appears to have been going on at the time, but we don't know the details so it is not possible to say whether this could have been a factor [in the collapse]", he said.
The government has pledged to increase public investments and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from EU deficit calculations.
The degradation may have also been compounded by heavy traffic on the bridge, which sees some 25 million vehicles every year and sits on a major artery, the A10, serving the Italian Riviera and linking northern Italy to France.
A former goalkeeper for Italian Serie A club Cagliari survived the deadly collapse of a motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday despite going down with the bridge in his auto and finishing among the rubble. It's the high point of the season, when most businesses are closed and Italians head to the beaches or the mountains.
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