Parents and son, 7, killed in Genoa bridge collapse
15 August, 2018, 20:00 | Author: Teresa Adams
Rome: The death toll in the collapse of a bridge in the Italian city of Genoa rose to 37 even as rescuers continue to search for possible survivors, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday. Other images showed a green truck that had stopped on the bridge just meters (yards) short of the gaping hole in the bridge.
On the Solemnity of the Assumption, Pope Francis prayed that "our heavenly Mother obtain comfort, courage, and serenity for all", especially those affected by the bridge collapse.
Autostrade, a unit of Atlantia, said work to shore up its foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse.
Raw video: Emergency workers in Genoa, Italy, clear debris and wrecked vehicles from the scene of the collapse.
Cars are blocked on the Morandi highway bridge after a section of it collapsed, in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.
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.
Rescuers and sniffer dogs are continuing to search through tonnes of concrete slabs and steel for survivors or bodies.
The condition of the bridge, and its ability to sustain large increases in both the intensity and weight of traffic over the years, have been a focus of public debate since Tuesday's collapse, when an 80-metre span gave way at lunchtime as cars packed with holidaymakers, as well as trucks, streamed across it.
Asked if authorities had been given any warning that the bridge, - a key link between two high-speed highways, one headed toward neighbouring France and the other to Milan - could be unsafe, Cozzi indicated that no serious safety concerns before Tuesday had reached his office.
"'I don't know if there is responsibility".
The incident is the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy, a country prone to damage from seismic activity but where infrastructure generally is showing the effects of a faltering economy.
In Paris, France's foreign ministry said four French nationals were among the dead.
While the apartments under the viaduct were largely spared the impact of the falling concrete, some 440 people evacuated from apartments under the shard of unscathed bridge face uncertainty about when, if ever, they will be allowed to live in their homes again.
On Tuesday specialist engineering website "Ingegneri.info" published a piece that highlighted how the bridge had always presented "structural doubts", calling it "a tragedy waiting to happen".
Teams with dogs are aiding search and rescue operations, but rescuers are not hearing or seeing any signs of life, he said, adding the situation around the bridge site is still unsafe.
"We have a duty to plan an extraordinary measure to monitor the state of infrastructure across the country", Conte told reporters in Genoa on Tuesday.
The University of Bath's Martin Fullekrug said "lightning generated heat could result in evaporating water to very high pressure and produce a subsequent crack or burst of critical support material, similar to the bark of a tree disintegrating after a lightning strike". There had been proposals to upgrade the 1967 bridge.
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