Search for survivors after Italian motorway collapse kills 26

15 August, 2018, 14:25 | Author: Lora Ball
  • The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy

"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these (budget) limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens. Obviously for me, it is not", said Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing League, part of the ruling coalition. And if there's no easy way to inspect them, "it's a high risk system", Agrawal said.

The collapse of a section of the structure early Tuesday morning sent concrete tumbling toward the ground, overturning cars and trapping people in the rubble.

One lorry was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge. "It seemed like a scene from a film, it was the apocalypse", Mr Capello, who is from Sardinia, said.

Italy's department for civil protection said 35 cars and three heavy vehicles were under the bridge and a transport official said eight people were seriously injured.

"All accessible spaces have been explored, now we are moving the largest pieces of debris", Gissi said, adding that two large cranes were being brought to the site to assist the operation.

A 2011 report by Italian highways company Autostrade per l'Italia said that the bridge had been suffering from degradation.

"I was driving along the bridge, and at a certain point I saw the road in front of me collapse, and I went down with the auto", Davide Capello told TV news channel Sky TG24.

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".

Atlantia and Autostrade did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The collapse occurred in an industrial area.

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The motorway operator said work to shore up the bridge's foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse, during which time it was being constantly monitored.

The tender provided for a strengthening of the bridge's pier cables, including those of pier nine, the one that collapsed on Tuesday.

The design of the bridge has been criticized in the past.

Rescuers scoured through the wreckage, strewn among shrubland and train tracks, as rescue helicopters winched survivors on stretchers from the ruined bridge. "Morandi wanted to use a technology that he had patented that was no longer used afterwards and that showed itself to be a failure", said Brencich to Radio Capitale.

Restructuring work was carried out in 2016 on the 1.2 km-long bridge, first completed in 1967.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Autostrade said it's "fully committed to evaluate the best solutions to rebuild the viaduct in the quickest possible time in a secure and efficient way".

The government has already pledged to increase public investment and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from EU deficit calculations.

Rescuers worked through the night to account for all of the victims of Tuesday's Morandi Bridge disaster in Genoa, as Italy's President called for a "serious and severe examination" into why the bridge suddenly collapsed.

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