Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Economy | By

Parents and son, 7, killed in Genoa bridge collapse

Parents and son, 7, killed in Genoa bridge collapse

The Morandi Bridge collapsed without warning Tuesday, sending dozens of vehicles plunging as much as 50 meters (180 feet) below.

Italy's deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, blamed the bridge collapse on a lack of maintenance by the private company that operates numerous nation's toll highways. "Miracles can happen", he said. The tender provided for a strengthening of the bridge's pier cables, including those of pier nine, the one that collapsed on Tuesday.

About 630 people live in apartment buildings practically under or right next to part of the highway bridge that was left standing after Tuesday's collapse.

"All my family and all my friends", she said.

Pictures also posted by the family show them among the crowds taking cover in a nearby tunnel having run to safety away from the area which collapsed.

A truck driver identified only as Idris who was behind that vehicle said it was saved only because of a motorist who tried to pass it moments earlier.

According to the business daily Il Sole, the improvement work involved two weight-bearing columns that support the bridge - including one that collapsed Tuesday.

Pope Francis also sent his condolences to the victims, saying the tragedy has "caused desperation among the population", at a service for the feast of the Assumption.

It has been riddled with structural problems since its construction, which has led to expensive maintenance and severe criticism from engineering experts.

Italy's minister of transportation and infrastructure, Danilo Toninelli, said there was a plan pending to spend 20 million euro ($22.7 million) on bids for significant safety work on the bridge.

"Our infrastructure is aging at a point where we have structurally deficient bridges that we know about... depending on the environment you can have components corrode".

"There was no reason to consider the bridge unsafe".

In the wake of the disaster, Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, said that "all infrastructure" across the country needed to be double-checked.

Conte said the government wouldn't wait until the investigation was completed to revoke the concession of a private company, Autostrade Per L'Italia, that operates numerous nation's toll highways.

Conte also called for swift removal of the tons of debris that fell in Genoa to facilitate rail travel and reduce the danger of floods.

The Morandi Bridge relied on stay-cables, which are embedded in concrete, making them hard to inspect for corrosion.

"Autostrade should have done maintenance and didn't do it", he said.

Asked if authorities had been given any warning that the bridge - a key link between two major highways, one headed toward France and the other to Milan - could be risky, Cozzi indicated that no serious safety concerns had reached his office before the collapse.

The Italian government, the new anti-establishment coalition at the helm - said the collapse showed Italy needed to spend more on its dilapidated infrastructure, ignoring European Union budget constraints if necessary.

"The scene is apocalyptic, like a bomb had hit the bridge", Matteo Pucciarelli, a journalist for La Repubblica who lives in Genoa, told the Guardian.

"Why children, why not me?' This is the thought I have."The bridge is part of a major route running through the Italian Riviera to France's southern coast.At least three of those killed were French nationals, according to the country's foreign ministry.Lucy Kafanov reported from Genoa, Claudio Lavanga from Rome, Linda Givetash from London, and Nancy Ing from Paris".

"We didn't hear or see anything, but after passing the bridge stopped at an Autogrill [roadside restaurant], and started to receive calls from family".

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