On Tuesday, as many Italians were driving to vacation destinations on the eve of Italy’s biggest summer holiday, a huge stretch of the 51-year-old bridge collapsed, sending more than 30 cars and three trucks plunging to the ground as far as 150ft below. He declined to say on Thursday how many people are feared missing.
Italian politicians pointed fingers at possible culprits.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared a state of emergency for Genoa, one of Italy’s busiest ports, whose mainland corridor with France has effectively been severed.
The incident is the deadliest of its kind in Europe since 2001 and the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy. “Autostrade should have done maintenance and didn’t do it”, he said.
Toninelli, from the populist 5-Star Movement, threatened in a Facebook post that the state, if necessary, would take direct control of the highway contractor responsible for the bridge if it couldn’t properly care for the roads and bridges it was responsible for.
Fines of up to €150 million ($170 million) would also be sought by his ministry and Autostrade’s managers should resign immediately, Toninelli asserted.
Bankers and analysts said Atlantia was less likely to bid for major projects overseas given the threat of punitive government measures against its Autostrade unit.
Spahr said that “the time has come to make a few things clear”, insisting that in the 2014-2020 European Union budget plan “Italy is set to receive around 2.5 billion euros” under European Union investment plans for network infrastructures, including roads. That investment, the company said, helped to decrease the accident fatality rate on its highway network.
“What are worrisome are the ones built in the 1950s and 1960s, most of which are at the end of their lifespans”, Occhiuzzi said, adding that they often are hard to retrofit efficiently and probably cheaper to replace. He tweeted that those responsible will “pay dearly”.
Chief prosecutor Francesco Cozzi told reporters “there could be 10 to 20 persons still missing”. “The Morandi Bridge. The one above Polcevera”. The collapse occurred in an industrial area.
Authorities said the numbers would probably rise with more victims likely to be found in the rubble, with hopes of finding survivors fading.
One of the bridge’s central pylons crumbled around noon local time on Tuesday during a violent rainstorm.
Mr Roberto Robbiano, his wife Ersilia Piccinino and their seven-year-old son Samuel died when their vehicle went into a free-fall as the Morandi Bridge gave way on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported.
“Oh God”, a witness can be heard crying out in Italian as footage of the collapse was caught on video. Salvini said Wednesday that the Fire Brigade had extracted the final body after working through the night.
The statement on the M5S website accuses the regional president who backed the reinforcement work of not having read a public inquiry report into the state of the bridge and says the party “asks ourselves what credibility those who support the great works can still have”.
Italian emergency phone operators expressed incredulity when a man called to let them know that a major highway bridge had collapsed in the north-western city of Genoa.
A lot of them were Italians, but the French Foreign Ministry said four of its nationals had also died.
He said they were still trying to figure out the cause of the collapse.
Pope Francis offered prayers for all those affected. “Obviously, I choose the second option”, Salvini said on Tuesday. So when the causes of the Genoa bridge collapse have been investigated and reported, we will carefully assess any lessons to be learnt and will bring in any required changes to standards and processes.
However, he added that “bridges are the safest of all major structures – safer than buildings and dams”.