‘At Least’ 35 Killed in Road Bridge Collapse in Italy’s Genoa
At least 35 people have perished in the city of Genoa in Northern Italy as a result of Tuesday’s road bridge collapse, according to the Italian fire fighters.
A 200-meter-long (656-foot) section of the “Morandi” viaduct on the A10 highway in Genoa collapsed just before noon local time, killing and injuring dozens of people.
Initial reports put the death toll figure at 11; unofficial reports from firefighters on the scene, however, suggest that those killed in the Genoa bridge collapse are “at least” 35, including a 10-year-old child, The Local Italy and AFP report.
Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday that “around 30” people have been killed.
“Unfortunately there are around 30 dead and many injured in a serious condition,” Salvini told reporters in the Sicilian city of Catania.
The vast section of the A10 highway collapsed on top of railway tracks in Genoa. The incident occurred as the road bridge was undergoing maintenance work, and the entire region of Liguria saw torrential rains and severe storms. The exact cause of the bridge collapse remains unknown for the time being.
“The scene is truly apocalyptic, it seems like a bomb has hit this important artery which connects Piedmont and Lombardy to the eastern part of Liguria,” said La Repubblica’s Matteo Pucciarelli, who was filming at the scene.
Genoa’s collapsed Morandi road bridge was built in the 1967 as part of the A10 toll highway, and was revamped in 2016. It connects the A10 highway towards France and the A7 highway that runs northwards towards Milan.
A fire service spokesperson cited by AFP said the bridge had mostly fallen on the railway tracks 100 meters (110 yards) below, and that “cars and trucks” had fallen with the rubble.
“Firefighters are working together and teams of rescuers and police sniffer dogs have been mobilised,” emergency services said on Twitter.
A cell phone video taken by a bystander and obtained by La Republicca captured the moment of the collapse.
Davide Capello, who plays football for the Legino sports team, fell with his car from the collapsing bridge but somehow survived almost intact.
“[France stands] by Italy’s side in this tragedy and is ready to offer all necessary support,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in the wake of the tragedy in Genoa.
The collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa is the deadliest incident of this kind in Europe since 2001.
In recent years, Italy has seen several infrastructure incidents causing fatalities, which have been blamed on insufficient investment due to economic stagnation.
In March 2017, a couple were killed when a highway overpass collapsed on their car near Ancona, and in October 2016, a pensioner was killed when his car was crushed by a collapsing bridge over the SS36 dual carriageway between Milan and Lecco.
(Banner image: Italian police on Twitter)