Killed in Bridge Collapse in Genoa

Italian Police  AFP  Getty Images

"Work will continue for many hours", Regional President Giovanni Toti said, even if there is "feeble hope" of finding people still alive.

Conte led an emergency Cabinet meeting Wednesday in Genoa, a day after the highway bridge collapsed. "We're going to work round the clock until the last victim is secured". "Those who were supposed to do the maintenance work did not do it properly".

A document detailing the terms for 3.2 billion euros worth of bonds guaranteed by Autostrade show that an early termination of the motorway concession would give bondholders a right to demand an early repayment.

"Genoa is a port city so that there can be marine effects and also it is a major industrial center so that there can be air pollution that impairs the concrete", Hawkins said in an e-mail.

"We have heard a number of hypothesis, not least this exceptional event of the lightning".

"In respect of the awful nature of things that have happened, that's all we have been saying until now".

"I've had some time to calm down and am now trying to understand what happened, but my wife and our friends are very shocked", Pierami said.

Experts say the possibility that lightning caused the collapse couldn't be written off, but was highly unlikely.

Brencich has always been a critic of the bridge. Children aged eight, 12 and 13 were among the dead, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday, adding that more people were still missing. "Exactly for this reason, the bridge was supposedly well maintained and continuously supervised". One of them, held by Autostrade per l'Italia, would allow concluding the "Gronda di Genova", a road bypass aimed at easing the amount of traffic that weighed on the A10 and therefore on the Morandi bridge.

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.

Engineering professor Antonio Brencich said Morandi had wrongly estimated the ageing of concrete and said the collapse was "not due to rain or poor maintenance". "But it was thought that the problem was not critical on the western span, which is the one that collapsed". "Since this bridge was under constant maintenance, the time had come to consider a replacement for the bridge". Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016.

Autostrade insisted that Genoa's Morandi bridge had been "monitored ... every three months".

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In December 2012, the Genoa city council discussed the state of the bridge at a public hearing into how to expand the local transport infrastructure.

View of the buildings (top) that were evacuated in the area around the collapsed bridge on Wednesday.

Councillor Paolo Putti of the now-governing Five Star Movement criticised Calvini's comment.

In 2014, a group called Comitato No Gronda backed by the Five Star branded the collapse as a "fairy story" while opposing fix work as a "waste of money". A screenshot of the page, which now appears to have been removed, was widely shared online since the collapse.

"Those responsible for the Genoa tragedy have a name and surname, and are Autostrade per l'Italia", Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Facebook, as translated by Google.

The gronda highway bypass was eventually approved by Italy's former transport minister in September 2017.

It called for a "Marshall Plan" to fix or replace tens of thousands of Italian bridges and viaducts built in the 1950s and 1960s, adding that simply updating or reinforcing the bridges would be more expensive than destroying and rebuilding them with new technology. The bridge had been built in the 1990s by a government-owned company.

It also wants to avoid triggering a planned rise in value-added tax (VAT), agreed with Brussels by the previous government to meet budget goals.

At least 39 people died when an 80-metre stretch of bridge crashed to the ground and its feared up to 20 people may be buried under the rubble. There are two similar bridges in the world, in Libya and Venezuela.

"It was affected by serious corrosion problems related to the technology that Morandi himself had patented, but stopped using, and which proved to be disastrous", he said. "We need to pull back concessions and inflict fines".

More often, it means "there is a maintenance cost", he said. "But all can contribute to a bridge failure".

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