Italy bridge collapse kills 35 | Daily News

Italy bridge collapse kills 35

Rescuers work at the site where the Morandi motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa yesterday. - AFP
Rescuers work at the site where the Morandi motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa yesterday. - AFP

About 35 people were killed on Tuesday when a giant motorway bridge collapsed in heavy rain in the Italian city of Genoa in what the government called an “immense tragedy”.

The collapse, which saw a vast stretch of the A10 freeway tumble on to railway lines in the northern port city, came as the bridge was undergoing maintenance work and as the Liguria region, where Genoa is situated, experienced torrential rainfall.

“Unfortunately there are around 30 dead and many injured in a serious condition,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters.

Rescuers scouring through the wreckage, strewn among shrubland and train tracks, said there were “dozens” of victims, as rescue helicopters winched survivors on stretchers from the ruined bridge.

Cars and trucks were tangled in the rubble and nearby buildings damaged by vast chunks of concrete, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.

The incident -- the deadliest of its kind in Europe since 2001 -- 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 economic stagnation.

Aerial footage showed more than 200 metres (650 feet) of the viaduct, known locally as the Morandi bridge, completely destroyed.

The cause of the disaster was not immediately clear, although weather services in the Liguria region where Genoa is situated had issued a storm warning Tuesday morning.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in a statement expressed “my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, and to the Italian people”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also sent her condolences Genoa, home to half a million people, is located between the sea and the mountains of northwestern 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. - AFP


 

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