At least 20 dead after highway bridge collapses over Italian city - Current Gist

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

At least 20 dead after highway bridge collapses over Italian city



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Earlier, an Italian transport official, Edoardo Rixi, had said that 22 people were killed and 13 injured in the collapse.
Firefighters said two people were pulled alive from vehicles in the rubble and transported by helicopter to a hospital.
Mr Borrelli said 30-35 cars and three heavy trucks were caught up as an 80-metre stretch of the bridge collapsed.
"We need to remove all of the rubble to ascertain that all of the people have been reached," Mr Borrelli said, adding that more than 280 rescue workers and sniffer dogs units were at work.



"Operations are ongoing to extract people imprisoned below parts of the bridge and twisted metal."
Mr Borrelli said authorities were still trying to figure out the reason for the collapse.
The highway operator said work to shore up the bridge's foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.
Firefighters said they were worried about gas lines exploding in the area from the collapse.
Photos published by ANSA on its website showed a huge gulf between two sections of the bridge.



Video captured the sound of a man screaming: "Oh God! Oh, God!"
Other images showed a green truck that had stopped just short of the gaping hole in the bridge.
ANSA said authorities suspected that a structural weakness had caused the collapse, but there was no immediate explanation by authorities for why they might have thought that or what had happened.
Italy's Transport Minister, Danilo Toninelli, called the collapse "an immense tragedy".
She said the disaster showed the dilapidated state of Italy's infrastructure and a lack of maintenance, adding that "those responsible will have to pay".
The office of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was heading to Genoa and would remain there on Wednesday.
We are following minute-by-minute the situation of the bridge collapse in Genoa," Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Twitter.
The disaster happened on a highway that connects Italy to France, and northern cities like Milan to the beaches of Liguria.
It came on the eve of a major Italian summer holiday on Wednesday, which means traffic was heavier than usual as Italians travelled to beaches or mountains
The Morandi bridge is a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 highway that goes toward France and the A7 highway that continues north toward Milan.
Inaugurated in 1967, it is 90 metres high and just over a kilometre long, with the longest section between supports measuring 200 metres.
The collapse of the bridge comes eight days after another major accident on an Italian highway, one near the northern city of Bologna.
In that case, a tanker truck carrying a highly flammable gas exploded after rear-ending a stopped truck on the road and getting hit from behind itself, leaving one person dead and dozens injured.


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