Video Shows Vehicles Stopped at Collapse Point of Genoa Bridge
Video Shows Vehicles Stopped at Collapse Point of Genoa Bridge
A general view of rescuers at the scene of the collapsed Morandi motorway bridge in the northwestern city of Genoa
15 August, 2018, 15:25
Economic news agency Radiocor reports that Italy's motorway agency had recently launched a 20-million-euro tender for work on the viaduct.
The death toll has risen to 37 and about 16 people are said to be seriously injured, while others remain missing under the crumbled debris.
"As yet, there is no evidence to say whether any impact occurred; it is too early to say what triggered the collapse", he said.
Engineers are now warning that much of Italy's post-War infrastructure, built using similar techniques to that employed in the construction of the Morandi bridge, is in urgent need of renovation.
Cars and trucks were trapped in the rubble and nearby buildings damaged.
Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli told Italian state television the disaster pointed to a lack of maintenance, and echoing Mr. Salvini, he said that "those responsible will have to pay".
Autostrade, a unit of the infrastructure group Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, manages the section of the toll highway that collapsed.
"The causes of the collapse will be the subject of an in-depth analysis as soon as it is possible to gain safe access to the site", Autostrade per l'Italia said.
"I have given mandate to my ministry to start all proceedings to apply the agreement, that is to revoke the concession from these companies and seek significant sanctions which can reach up to €150 million (S$230 million) based on the terms of the contract".
Investigators are also working to determine what caused a 260ft-long stretch of highway to break off from the 150ft-high bridge in the port city.
One Italian official told ANSA that 30 to 35 cars and three trucks were on the Morandi Bridge when it collapsed. Firefighters said that there are concerns about gas lines.
In another video, rescuers worked to free other victims trapped between rubble, under huge concrete slabs criss-crossed with steel wires to reinforce them.
The man, who has not been named, told rescuers: "I saw the the road collapsing in front of me, with all the cars that were in front of me".
Images from the scene showed a mangled mass of buckled vehicles and slabs of bitumen torn up as the bridge, built in the late 1960s, came tumbling down.
Salvini said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident.
"I was driving to Genoa, I was on the bridge", he said.
Many in the city had said the 1967 bridge needed shoring up.
Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016.
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.
Building a new bridge could take years, however, and its importance as part of the main artery connecting the south of France and Italy meant that plans to get rid of the existing structure were postponed.
However, locals say that the bridge has had problems for years, and that it was often attended to by repair crews, but the fixes were never long-lasting, and many in Genoa had petitioned the authorities to replace it.
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