Anger grows in Italy as bridge toll hits 39

17 August, 2018, 07:31 | Author: Regina Silva
  • The viaduct gave way amid torrential rain

But the political anger generated by Tuesday's tragedy in Genoa, in which at least 39 people died, could instead end up piling even more financial pressure on the state - from nervous holders of its 2 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion) in bonds.

The bridge is to be demolished and an investigation has been opened against unknown persons as the causes of the collapse are yet to be established.

As the rescue efforts continued into a second night, hundreds of firefighters scoured the huge piles of concrete and twisted metal in a search deploying heavy lifting gear and sniffer dogs.

More than 400 people have been evacuated from the area, reports the BBC.

The Genoa Public Prosecutor's Office blamed "human error" for the collapse that killed 39 people and injured 24. State radio said among them was a woman who suffered smoke inhalation from a fire sparked by debris falling into her home and a Czech truck driver who suffered a chest injury.

It called for an ambitious plan to fix or replace tens of thousands of Italian bridges and viaducts built in the 1950s and 1960s, citing a series of collapses in recent years, not all fatal.

Many in the city had said the 1967 bridge was in need of revamping.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement and Italy's deputy prime minister, claimed motorway tolls could be nationalised as he took aim at big business.

"We're going to work round the clock until the last victim is secured".

Shares in Italian company Atlantia, which runs much of Italy's motorway network, including the collapsed stretch of the A10, plunged on the Milan stock exchange after the news.

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Conte said the government wouldn't wait until the investigation was completed to revoke the concession of a private company, Autostrade Per L'Italia, that operates numerous nation's toll highways.

"I don't know if there is responsibility". "Autostrade had to do the maintenance and did not do it".

USA investigators have said they are looking at the emergence of cracks in the structure before the collapse of the bridge near Florida International University, which killed six people.

The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the port city of Genoa, Italy August 16, 2018.

Aerial footage showed more than 200 metres of the viaduct, known locally as the Morandi bridge, completely destroyed.

Giovanni Calvini, the local president of the Confindustria, the general confederation of Italian industry, said in interview earlier that month: "When in 10 years the Morandi bridge will collapse, and all of us will have to be stuck in traffic for hours, we will remember the names of those who now say "no" [to the expansion]".

A recent report from the minister of Transport - undertaken before the Italy disaster - suggested that of 12,000 bridges in France, nearly a third could benefit from fix work.

Mr Grillo dismissed warnings that the bridge could collapse as "a fairy tale" on his widely read blog. "I Looked up and saw the bridge pylon fall", he said.

Danilo Toninelli, the transport minister, said on Wednesday that the top level of Autostrade per l'Italia "must step down first of all". Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016.

The bridge underwent fix works in 2016 and more was being done on its foundations before the collapse.

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