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August 14, 2018

Bridge collapse in Italy claims at least 22 lives

A  highway bridge collapsed over Genoa, Italy, on Tuesday morning, causing people, cars and huge chunks of concrete to fall hundreds of feet onto the city below.

At least 22 people were found dead in the rubble, government officials told Italy’s ANSA news agency. Other accounts put the death told even higher, and Italy’s transportation minister said he expected the final toll would be “an immense tragedy.”

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Standing 300 feet high, according to the Associated Press, the Morandi Bridge spans a three-quarter-mile section of the coastal city, and carries highway traffic between Italy and France. Traffic was likely especially heavy on Tuesday, the agency wrote, as vacationers headed out in advance of a major Italian holiday.

Though the 1960s-era bridge had structural work performed with the last two years, the AP wrote, authorities suspect it was weak — and finally gave out as a torrential rainstorm pounded it shortly before noon.

“O Dio, O Dio, O Dio,” an onlooker screamed, as he recorded massive trusses peeling off the bridge, veiled by a thick sheet of rain.

Twenty vehicles either fell or were crushed, officials told Reuters. Trucks fell into the Polvecera River, ANSA reported. Some were rescued from the rubble, but a child was reported among at least 22 dead.

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