At least 30 said killed in Italy bridge collapse over Genoa
Bridge comes down during torrential rainfall, Italian authorities say at least 20 vehicles were on the Morandi Bridge 200-meter section collapsed; firefighters also concerned about gas lines.
At least 30 people were killed late Tuesday morning when a motorway bridge collapsed over the northern Italian port city of Genoa during torrential rainfall, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
ANSA reported that five people are injured and in serious condition. The Interior Ministry press office could not immediately confirm the fatalities.
An official with Italian firefighters, Amalia Tedeschi, told RAI state TV that some 20 vehicles, including cars and trucks, had been involved in the collapse. She confirmed that two people had been extracted alive from vehicles and were being transported by helicopter to a hospital.
Tedeschi said that sniffer dogs are at work in the rubble looking for more injured and victims. In addition, heavy equipment was being moved in so they could lift pieces of the bridge.
Tedeschi said the part of the bridge that collapsed was about 80 meters in length, with media reports saying it came down over a river, railroad tracks and buildings, and firefighters told The Associated Press that there are concerns about gas lines.
Italian television showed images of the collapsed bridge, which was inaugurated on the A10 toll motorway in 1967. Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016.
The highway operator said work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.
The Bridge is 90 meters high, just over a kilometer (about three-quarters of a mile) long, with the longest section between supports measuring 200 meters.
The ANSA news agency said that authorities suspected that a structural weakness caused the collapse on Tuesday.
The bridge is an important interchange between the northern regions of Lombardy and Piedmont and the beaches of Liguria, and to the main highway heading westward into France.
The collapse happened on the eve of a major Italian holiday on Wednesday, Ferragosto, and traffic would have been heavier than usual as many Italians traveled to beaches or mountains.
Photos published by ANSA 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.
Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said in a tweet that he was “following with great apprehension what seems like an immense tragedy.”
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said some 200 fire fighters are responding to the accident. On Twitter he says “we are following minute by minute the situation of the bridge collapse in Genoa.”
Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 4.6 percent after news of the collapse.
Source: YNET News