Death toll climbs following Italian bridge collapse

Lloyd Doyle
August 16, 2018

Please find below the Highways England statement in response to the tragic bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy.

NurPhoto via Getty Images Rescuers have worked throughout the night and into Wednesday to search for survivors and recover bodies.

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

Autostrade per l'Italia said on Wednesday that it had carried out regular, sophisticated checks on the structure before the disaster and that these had provided reassuring results.

Some of the more than 500 evacuated residents (bottom left) from a dozen apartment buildings located under the severed ends of bridge, gather as they wait to get into their homes to collect their belongings amid fears that more debris could fall.

The Italian CNR civil engineering society said structures as old as the Morandi Bridge had surpassed their lifespans.

Questions have been raised as to whether the Mafia was involved in the bridge's construction in the 1960s.

The government also intends to fine the firm €150m (£134m).

The company insisted it had monitored the bridge quarterly, as required by law.

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 first thing that should happen is that the heads of Autostrade per l'Italia should step down".

In 2016, Antonio Brencich, associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Genoa, warned it would cost more to fix the "uneven" construction, rather than just knock the bridge down.

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

In an interview on SkyTG24 TV Thursday, Cozzi said that there was a video of the collapse. "That bridge is wrong". Sooner or later it will have to be replaced.

"I don't know if there is responsibility".

The highway had already undergone significant maintenance in the 1980s and 1990s.

Italy's government said it meant to revoke the company's contract and hit it with a fine of 150 million euros ($170 million).

Engineering experts said the disaster points to the challenges of maintaining any aging bridge, regardless of its design. "Everyone from Genoa crossed the bridge".

Pierami, an engineer, had driven over the bridge many times before.

"We also don't know the capacity of each auto", Gissi said. "I used to enjoy passing over the bridge as a child, it was a novelty".

In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy.

"We're not giving up hope".

A Treasury source said Tria was already discussing a big overall public investment plan with European Union officials, worth a total of 150 billion euros over 10 years.

"We're going to work round the clock until the last victim is secured". "It seemed like a scene from a film, it was the apocalypse", he said.

Antonio Brencich, an engineering professor at Genoa University, told state television the bridge had been shown to be defective just two decades after it was built - a comment supported by anecdotal evidence of those who lived below it. "The risk of collapses is underestimated, the works built at that time are coming to an age when they are at risk".

He later reportedly said that spending on safety of Italians should come before budget constraints.

The bridge in Venezuela, which is much larger and spans Lake Maracaibo, also has had mishaps.

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 on Tuesday morning.

Italy's Atlantia and other toll road operators faced a sharp sell-off on Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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