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ITALY BRIDGE: 22 KILLED AS GENOA MOTORWAY COLLAPSES

Date: 2018-08-14


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Italian officials have said a vehicle bridge just outside the city of Genoa in Italy has collapsed, causing multiple vehicles to plunge roughly 90m to the ground below, with reports of least 22 people dead.

Amidst fears that there are many more injured or killed, Italy's Transport Minister, Danilo Toninelli, said it appears to be "an immense tragedy" with police suggesting the disaster is due to a violent cloudburst in stormy weather.

According to reports, one of the suspension bridge towers collapsed with most of the debris falling to the rail tracks and river below. AFP news agency reports that officials confirmed that cars and trucks had also fallen in the collapse as a single truck remains perched precariously on one end of the surviving structure.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, in both French and Italian, a message of sympathy to the people of Italy, adding that France was ready to offer aid if necessary.

An eyewitness to the incident, Pietro M all'Asa, was quoted as saying, "It was just after 11:30 when we saw lightning strike the bridge ... and we saw the bridge going down."

Another eyewitness said traffic was queuing on the bridge at the time and that cars and trucks were trapped in the rubble. Nearby buildings were damaged too and rescue workers are busy at the scene.

The highway operator was quoted as saying that work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, according to Reuters news agency.

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