Italy vows action over bridge collapse, investors shun road operator

17 Agosto, 2018, 07:31 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Italian Police  AFP  Getty Images

Chilling images have emerged of the doomed Italian bridge "crumbling" up to 18 months before it collapsed, killing at least 39 people.

The bridge is to be demolished and an investigation has been opened against unknown persons as the causes of the collapse are yet to be established.

Salvini declined to say how many people are still missing, and he added that trying to locate them was particularly hard, due to the holiday.

The 50-year-old bridge, part of a toll motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, collapsed during torrential rain on Tuesday, sending dozens of vehicles crashing onto a riverbed, a railway and two warehouses. State radio said among them was a woman who suffered smoke inhalation from a fire sparked by debris falling into her home and a Czech truck driver who suffered a chest injury.

The Commission, the EU's executive, said it had approved in April an 8.5 billion euro investment plan for Italian motorways, including in the Genoa region, under European Union state aid rules.

"What the general public does not comprehend is that bridges have been traditionally designed in the past for a life span of 50 years", said Neil Hawkins, a professor emeritus of engineering at the University of IL, who specializes in reinforced and prestressed concrete design.

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.

Rescue teams worked through the night and into the morning to recover the victims.

A more recent fatal collapse involved a newly constructed pedestrian bridge in Florida.

He said he didn't know who might be responsible, but added: "It wasn't an accident".

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Atlantia, which is owned by the Benetton fashion company, said in a statement before opening that revoking the concession required certain findings, including specific fault by the company and a determination of the cause of the collapse.

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

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte today declared a year-long state of emergency for the region of Liguria after the bridge disaster that killed 39.

Asked if authorities had any warning that the bridge could be unsafe, Cozzi indicated that no serious safety concerns had reached his office before the collapse.

"I feel blessed, that's it", Mr Goccia said.

Cars are blocked on the Morandi highway bridge after a section of it collapsed, in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

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.

Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said that those responsible would "pay, pay everything, and pay dearly", as a criminal inquiry into the tragedy was announced.

According to newspaper reports dating back to 2006, the government and highways company had considered demolishing and rebuilding the structure as part of a project to build the "gronda" highway bypass.

Around 1,000 rescue workers continued their search through tonnes of rubble for any more bodies.

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