Death toll 'rises to 41' in Genoa bridge collapse

Lester Mason
August 20, 2018

The search operation for those missing after a motorway bridge collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa ended overnight after the last three bodies were found, bringing the official death toll to 43.

After 3 bodies were recovered from a vehicle crushed under slabs of concrete, the Genoa prefecture raised its official death toll.

Some coffins have already been placed in a large hall, and family members visited them on Friday.

"The Morandi bridge collapse has pierced the heart of Genoa".

An imam also spoke words of remembrance for two Muslim victims of the collapse.

Speaking after the funeral, top Autostrade executives voiced profound sadness for the victims and said the company would set up a fund of about $780 million for their families.

Castellucci said that Autostrade, which runs nearly half of Italy's motorway network, would be able to build a new steel bridge in "eight months". Conte announced Wednesday that his government would revoke the concession from the company, while Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli called for senior managers there to resign.

"Everyone who has come here in recent years has gone over that bridge". The collapse has prompted fears over other ageing infrastructure in Italy and overseas, with Bulgaria announcing Thursday a plan to renovate more than 200 bridges while France has said one in three of national road bridges are in need of fix.

Relatives of victims comforted each other as they huddled around each of the 19 caskets.

Public funerals were scheduled at 11:30am Saturday for the victims, in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Genoa Archibishop Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

The dead also include three Chileans and four French nationals, while 10 people remain in hospital.

The Italian engineer who designed the Genoa bridge that collapsed and killed dozens of people warned four decades ago it was at a high risk for corrosion.

"This is zero hour for Genoa", Angelina Volpe told dpa.

There was also loud clapping for co-deputy premiers Matteo Salvini and Luigi di Maio who have led angry tirades against Autostrade.

During the state funeral, applause rang out and many fought back tears as a prelate read out the first names of some 30 victims who have so far been identified.

Roberto, father of another of the dead from Naples used social media to vent his anger: "My son will not become a number in the catalogue of deaths caused by Italian failures".

"The initial disbelief and then the growing dimension of the catastrophe, the general bewilderment, the tumult of emotions, the pressing "Whys?" have touched us yet again and in a brutal way showed the inexorable fragility of the human condition", Bagnasco said.

Its collapse prompted fears over ageing infrastructure across the world.

But Giovanni Toti, president of the Liguria region where Genoa is located, asked that the government concentrate on drafting an "emergency law" for Genoa "that will allow us to work in a speedy fashion" rather than the battle with Autostrade.

Autostrade operates almost 2,000 miles of motorway in Italy.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article