Dozens feared dead as Italy motorway bridge collapses during a sudden and violent storm in Genoa

At least 35 people were killed when a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rains on Tuesday morning over buildings in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, Italy's ANSA news agency cited fire brigade sources as saying.
A 50-metre high section of the bridge, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down in the rain onto the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing vehicles below and plunging huge slabs of reinforced concrete into the nearby riverbed.

"People living in Genoa use this bridge twice a day, we can't live with infrastructures built in the 1950s and 1960s," Deputy Transport Minister Edoardo Rixi said on SkyNews24, speaking from Genoa.
Italian television showed images of the collapsed bridge, which was built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.

Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016.
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 EU budget constraints if necessary.
"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these (budget) limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens.
Obviously for me it is not," said deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the right-wing League which governs with the 5-Star Movement.
Helicopter footage on social media showed trucks and cars stranded on either side of the 80-metre long collapsed section of the Morandi Bridge, built on the A10 toll motorway in the late 1960s. One truck was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge.
Motorist Alessandro Megna told RAI state radio he had been in a traffic jam below the bridge and seen the collapse.
"Suddenly the bridge came down with everything it was carrying. It was really an apocalyptic scene, I couldn't believe my eyes," he said.

Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli told Italian state television the disaster pointed to a lack of maintenance, adding that "those responsible will have to pay." 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." He said there was "no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous."
Restructuring work was carried out in 2016 on the 1.2km bridge, first completed in 1967. The motorway is a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France's southern coast.
Autostrade, a unit of Atlantia, said work to shore up its foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse.
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.
Borrelli said there were 30-35 vehicles on the bridge when the middle section came down, including three lorries. He said 13 people had been hospitalised, including five in a critical condition.
Photos published by the ANSA news agency on its website showed a huge gulf between two sections of the highway.
Video captured the sound of a man screaming: "Oh god, oh, god." Other images showed a green truck that had stopped on the bridge just meters (yards) short of the gaping hole in the bridge.
Italian television showed images of the collapsed bridge, which was built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.
Some 200 firefighters were on the scene, the fire service said, and Sky Italia television said four people had been pulled from the rubble.
Police footage showed firemen working to clear debris around a crushed truck, while other fireman nearby scaled some of the huge broken slabs of reinforced concrete that had supported 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.
"The tragic facts in Genoa remind us of the public investments that we so badly need," said Claudio Borghi, the League's economy spokesman.
The office of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was heading to Genoa in the evening and would remain there on Wednesday. Defence minister Elisabetta Trenta said the army was ready to offer manpower and vehicles to help with the rescue operations.
Train services around Genoa have been halted.
Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 6.3 per cent.
Man survives Genoa bridge collapse
Rome: 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 car and finishing among the rubble.
Davide Capello, who made two appearances for the Sardinian side while they were in Serie B early last decade and who is now a firefighter, managed to walk away after 200 metres of the Morandi viaduct crumbled at around midday (1000 GMT). "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 car," Capello told TV news channel Sky TG24.
Emergency crews are scouring the wreckage for survivors and dead bodies following what Italian transport minister called an "immense tragedy".
The death toll from the incident is expected to rise, with Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, claiming "around 30" were dead and some local media quoting the fire service in saying that "at least 35" had been killed. However Capello managed to clamber out of his car, which he says was "attached to a pylon", and climb down the rubble to the police and firefighters waiting below.
"I was able to get out... I don't know how my car wasn't crushed. It seemed like a scene from a film, it was the apocalypse," the shaken 33-year-old added. "I was convinced it was going to end badly but thank God I've lived to tell the tale."
The incident is the deadliest of its kind in Europe since 2001 and the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy. In March last year, a couple were killed when a motorway overpass collapsed on their car near Ancona on the country's Adriatic coast.
A pensioner died in October 2016 when his car was crushed by a collapsing bridge over a dual carriageway between Milan and Lecco. Since leaving Cagliari in 2005 after a season as their third choice goalkeeper in Serie A, Sardinia-born Capello tumbled down the leagues and eventually left professional football. – AFP
In a nutshell

Here's what know about the bridge, the collapse and the response:
The bridge
The Morandi viaduct, less than five kilometres to the west of Genoa's old port, was built in the 1960s and completed in 1967.
The flyover of the A10 motorway, named after the architect who designed it, spanned railway lines, buildings and the Polcevera stream around 45 metres below.
Genoa's rugged terrain means that motorways that run through the city and the surrounding area are characterised by bridges and tunnels.

The collapse
A section of around 200 metres  broke away at around noon (1000 GMT).
Autostrade, a highway operator controlled by Atlantia which runs much of Italy's motorway network, said it had been carrying out maintenance work on the bridge.
Regional weather services had issued a storm warning for the morning of the collapse and the national police force said on Twitter the disaster happened amid a "violent cloudburst".

The victims
There were varying death tolls, with interior minister Salvini saying "around 30 people" had died.
A spokesman for the Civil Protection service meanwhile told reporters that 20 people were confirmed to have died, and 16 others wounded, including 10 seriously. But officials warned the scale of the disaster was such that the toll was likely to rise.
The emergency response
Italy's national fire service said on Twitter that 200 of its emergency workers were involved in the rescue effort.
TV images showed rescue workers looking for other people under the rubble over six hours after the bridge crumbled.
The national police force told road users to avoid highways and the neighbouring areas.
The reaction
Salvini said that he would investigate and find out who was responsible for the collapse, because "it's not possible that in 2018 you can work and die in these conditions".
France's President Emmanuel Macron said the country was ready to "offer all necessary support".
The spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her "thoughts like those of so many Germans, are with the victims and their families".
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "I express my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have died and to the Italian people."
Shares in Atlantia plunged on the Milan stock exchange after the collapse.

Souce: Gulf News


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