MILAN (Reuters) – At least 38 people have been confirmed dead and dozens injured when a motorway bridge collapsed in the Italian city of Genoa on Tuesday.
“The data will be updated and we expect the toll to rise,” Luigi D’Angelo, a senior official at the country’s civil protection agency told reporters at a briefing.
He added that some 30 cars and between five to 10 trucks were on the road when a 200-metre section of the Morandi Bridge, part of the A10 motorway, crashed down during a fierce and sudden storm.
About 1,000 police, firefighters and volunteers were deployed to the scene to search for survivors and bodies amid the rubble of the bridge.
Autostrade per l’Italia, the toll road operator which manages the bridge said it would work with authorities to establish the causes of the disaster.
Autostrade, which is part of Italy’s Atlantia group, said its Genoa division staff had met with local authorities and was assessing how to rebuild the ‘Polcevera’ viaduct “in the quickest, most efficient and safest way.”
“Autostrade per l’Italia expresses its condolences for the victims of the Polcevera Viaduct collapse on the A10 motorway… and thanks rescuers for their extraordinary efforts,” the company said in a statement.
The head of Genoa’s public prosecutor’s office, Francesco Cozzi, said he was ready to “open a file for negligent multiple homicide and disaster”, and it would be against unknown persons “because the reasons for the tragedy are still unknown”.
Italy’s transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, has ordered safety checks of all major infrastructure across the country. He has also called for senior managers to resign at the company operating the bridge.
The Morandi bridge was built in the 1960s on the A10 toll motorway connecting Genoa to French border.