Search for survivors after Italian motorway collapse kills at least 26

15 Août, 2018, 08:49 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy

A former goalkeeper for Italian Serie A club Cagliari survived the deadly collapse of a motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday (Aug 14) despite going down with the bridge in his vehicle and ending up among the rubble.

While that remained the official death toll, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said from Genoa on August 14 evening that the number would rise. Italian news agency Ansa reported that a child was among the dead.

A 50 metre-high section of the bridge, including a tower that anchored several supports, crashed down with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it, landing on the roofs of two warehouses, plunging huge slabs of reinforced concrete onto train tracks and into a riverbed.

One unidentified man, who had been standing beneath the bridge at the time, was thrown more than 30 feet and into a wall when it collapsed.

Civil protection authorities said 20 were killed and 16 were injured, based on multiple verifications from the prefecture's office. "We need to remove all of the rubble to ascertain that all of the people have been reached", he said. "We hope to find more people alive".

Italy defender Domenico Criscito was also caught up in the collapse, posting a video on Instagram of torrential rain as he crossed the bridge with his family shortly before tragedy struck.

Deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini said: "The more I think about the deaths of Genoa, the more I get angry".

"They will have to pay, pay for everything, and pay a lot", he said.

The bridge, the Morandi, forms part of the A10 motorway, connecting Genoa to Ventimiglia near the French border.

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There was an enormous gap where the bridge used to be, and one heart-stopping image showed a green truck halted on the rain-slickened roadway just short of the edge.

Motorist Alessandro Megna told RAI state radio he had been in a traffic jam and seen the collapse: "Suddenly the bridge came down with everything it was carrying. It was really an apocalyptic scene, I couldn't believe my eyes".

One Italian official told ANSA that 30 to 35 cars and three trucks were on the Morandi Bridge when it collapsed.

"Firefighters are working together and teams of rescuers and police sniffer dogs have been mobilised", emergency services said on Twitter.

In another video, rescuers worked to free other victims trapped between rubble, under enormous concrete slabs criss-crossed with steel wires to reinforce them.

The exact cause of the collapse was not yet clear, but transport minister Danilo Toninelli said the "immense tragedy" showed the dilapidated state of the country's infrastructure and a lack of vital maintenance, adding that "those responsible will have to pay".

It was unclear what had caused the collapse, but the event raised questions among some Italian government officials about maintenance of their country's infrastructure - a common concern in developed countries, where numerous major roadways were built decades ago.

"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an vast tragedy", Transport and Infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

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