Up to 20 still missing in Italy bridge collapse

Roman Schwartz
August 17, 2018

Asked if authorities had been given any warning that the bridge - a key link between two major highways, one headed toward France and the other to Milan - could be risky, Cozzi indicated that no serious safety concerns had reached his office before the collapse.

Milan had been closed for a public holiday on Wednesday.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) faced scrutiny Wednesday because in 2013 its Genoa activists had opposed a planned road bypass.

Mr Toninelli said anybody found to be responsible for the tragedy would "have to pay", a sentiment echoed by other members of the government.

He said he hoped the number still buried would be small, adding "miracles are still possible".

Conte also called for swift removal of the tons of debris that fell in Genoa to facilitate rail travel and reduce the danger of floods.

Autostrade says it made regular, thorough safety checks on the 1.2 km-long viaduct, part of a motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, and had used world-leading experts when conducting the tests and inspections. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes near parts of the bridge that remained standing.

Danilo Toninelli, the transport minister, said on Wednesday that the top level of Autostrade per l'Italia "must step down first of all". "We are still looking for cavities that can hide people, living or not", he said, adding that the round the clock search had failed to find any more victims overnight. Three children were among those killed, Salvini said.

Three French nationals were also said to have died, with local media reporting that the two young women and a man from Toulouse had travelled to Italy for a music festival.

It also said it's already assessing how to rebuild the bridge.

"I don't know if there is responsibility".

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Rescuers inspect the rubble and wreckages by the Morandi motorway bridge after a section collapsed earlier in Genoa on August 14, 2018. According to business daily Il Sole, work would have been done to improve two weight-bearing columns that support the bridge - including one that collapsed Tuesday.

The 1967 bridge, considered innovative in its time for its use of concrete around its cables, was long due for an upgrade, especially since the structure was more heavily trafficked than its designers had envisioned.

Antonio Brencich, a professor of construction at the University of Genoa, said the design lent itself to swift corrosion and the bridge was in constant need of maintenance.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says his government won't wait until prosecutors finish investigating the deadly Genoa bridge collapse to yank the concession from the main private company that maintains Italy's highways.

The company is expected to hold an extraordinary board meeting next week. "Autostrade had to do the maintenance and did not do it". Speaking to RAI television, he said the government meant to cancel its deal with the company, which manages the A10 toll motorway connecting Genoa to the French border. The collapse sent dozens of vehicles plunging into the depths below.

The 50-year-old Morandi bridge had always been due for an upgrade, Italian authorities said.

The woman, who was identified only as Leonine, told broadcaster Francetvinfo that they tried to make a U-turn but were blocked by traffic.

Mr Capello, however, managed to clamber out of his auto, which he said was "attached to a pylon", and climb down the rubble to the police officers and firefighters waiting below, Agence France-Presse reported. "We even found a family - a father, mother and a small child who were together, in a vehicle, and unfortunately the three of them were dead".

The disaster left one driver's green lorry perched precariously close to the precipice.

"Now is the time for a common commitment towards dealing with the emergency, assisting the injured and supporting those hit by the pain", he added.

The passing auto plunged into the chasm, he added.

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