Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Italy bridge collapse: Former footballer describes 'apocalypse'

The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy
Jeannette Daniel | 15 August, 2018, 08:49

In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, cars are seen among the rubble of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy on Tuesday. However, the bidding process for a substantial safety project for the bridge, worth $22.7 million, was set to begin soon, he said.

More than 400 people were evacuated from buildings near or below the still-standing section of the bridge. The collapse appears not to have killed anyone under the road, but only those who were driving on it, the civil protection agency said earlier. "We need to remove all of the rubble to ascertain that all of the people have been reached", he said. The bridge was constantly monitored, even more than was foreseen by the law.

"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these (budget) limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens".

Mr. Salvini also said he wanted the "names and surnames of those to blame because a tragedy like this in 2018 is not acceptable".

She said it's lucky it's summer, which means less people would be using the bridge as they're on holiday. "Oh, God!" Other images showed a green truck that had stopped just short of the edge and the tires of a tractor trailer in the rubble.

"Suddenly the bridge came down with everything it was carrying".

One rescue worker described the scene as "hell" and a witness said it "seems like a bomb has hit".

An official for the civil protection agency said there had been 30 cars and five to 10 trucks on the section that fell.

Though there were no signs of life well before nightfall, firefighters vowed not to give up the search until all hope was lost, working into the night and planning to use sniffer dogs to find those still trapped.

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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". It called for a "Marshall Plan" to fix or replace tens of thousands of bridges and viaducts built in the 1950s and 1960s.

"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an enormous tragedy", Transport and Infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

He said: "The collapse was unexpected and unpredictable".

A representative of the motorway's operator, Autostrade, told Reuters there had been "no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous".

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

"There has not been sufficient maintenance and checks, and safety work for many bridges and viaducts and bridges in Italy constructed - nearly all - during the 1960s", he said. "But there will be a time when the cost of maintenance will be higher than a replacement", he told Italian media Primocanale. The Morandi Bridge connects the A10 highway that goes toward the French Riviera and the A7 highway that continues north toward Milan.

Autostrade said work to reinforce the slab under the road surface was going on at the time of the collapse.

The government has pledged to increase public investments and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from E.U. deficit calculations.

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