Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Parents and son, 7, killed in Genoa bridge collapse

Italy motorway bridge tragedy 22 dead in Italy after motorway bridge collapses
Russell Knight | 16 August, 2018, 13:16

CBS2's Mary Calvi reports.

At least 35 people were killed when a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rains on Tuesday morning in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, Italy's ANSA news agency cited fire brigade sources as saying.

"Suddenly the bridge came down with everything it was carrying". It said that simply updating or reinforcing the bridges would be more expensive than destroying and rebuilding them with new technology.

As the city of 600,000 reeled from the tragedy, about 1,000 rescue workers kept up the search for victims, picking through tons of broken concrete slabs, smashed vehicles and twisted steel. "So many people that lived here lost their lives, children".

"Miracles are still possible", Salvini said.

Children aged eight, 12 and 13 were among the dead, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday, adding that more people were still missing.

Three French citizens and two Albanians were also killed.

The mother of two said the bridge started shaking violently, then the giant A-frame tower in front of her collapsed "like flour". I don't know how my vehicle wasn't crushed.

He said he didn't know who might be responsible, but added: "It wasn't an accident".

The highway bridge was a link between two major highways, one going to France and the other to Milan.

A €20 million (£17.8 million) upgrade project to the bridge had already been approved, with public bids for the work to be submitted by September.

"Unfortunately a piece of our hearts remains under the rubble of the Genoa bridge".

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The 1967 bridge, considered innovative in its time for its use of concrete around its cables, had always been due for an upgrade, especially since the structure saw more heavy traffic than its designers had envisioned.

Construction expert Antonio Brencich of the University of Genoa had previously called the bridge "a failure of engineering".

The incident is the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy, a country prone to damage from seismic activity but where infrastructure generally is showing the effects of a faltering economy.

The Italian CNR civil engineering society said structures dating from when the Morandi Bridge was built had surpassed their lifespan. It called for a "Marshall Plan" to fix or replace tens of thousands of Italian bridges and viaducts built in the 1950s and 1960s.

Italian politicians, for their part, were trying to find who to blame for the deadly tragedy.

A source at Italy's transport ministry said authorities were looking initially at whether they can revoke the Autostrade contract for the A10 motorway, "then we will look at all other concessions".

Lack of investment, poor maintenance and, in some cases, the involvement of mafia-run building companies that use poor quality concrete to increase profits, could all contribute to disasters like the one in Genoa.

"The cone yes, fell down like flour", Galbusera said.

Earlier, the company said it had carried out regular, sophisticated checks on the structure before the disaster and that these had not shown up early signs of trouble.

Mr Di Maio accused previous Italian governments of turning a blind eye to the upkeep of the country's motorways because of political contributions.

Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, a member of the governing Five Star Movement (M5S), called for the immediate resignation of the company's top management Wednesday.

The Italian government, the new anti-establishment coalition at the helm - said the collapse showed Italy needed to spend more on its dilapidated infrastructure, ignoring European Union budget constraints if necessary.

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