Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Monday that “around 30” have been killed after a motorway bridge collapsed in the northwestern port city of Genoa.
“Unfortunately there are around 30 dead and many injured in a serious condition,” Salvini told reporters in the Sicilian city of Catania.
The collapse, which saw a vast stretch of the A10 freeway tumble on to railway lines in the northern port city, was the deadliest bridge failure in Italy for years, and the country’s deputy transport minister warned the death toll could climb further.
“Unfortunately I can confirm that 22 are dead, and it’s a number that’s likely to rise,” Edoardo Rixi told Italian television. Rescuers scouring through the wreckage, strewn among shrubland and train tracks, said there were “tens of victims”, while images from the scene showed an entire carriageway plunged to the ground.
Cars and trucks were trapped in the rubble and nearby buildings damaged by vast chunks of concrete, according to an AFP photographer at the scene. Italian media reported that 200 metres (650 feet) of the “Morandi” bridge had fallen away. The Italian fire service said that the viaduct, located in an industrial area in the west of the city, collapsed at around noon (1000 GMT).
“I´m following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an immense tragedy,” transport and infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.
Italy´s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he was following events in Genoa “up to the minute” and thanked the emergency services for their swift response.
A fire service spokesperson told AFP that the bridge had mostly fallen on rail tracks 100 metres below and that “cars and trucks” had fallen with the rubble.“Firefighters are working together and teams of rescuers and police sniffer dogs have been mobilised,” emergency services said on Twitter.
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. They were down 9.7 percent at 22.48 euros in mid-afternoon, having earlier been temporarily suspended when their drop exceeded 10 percent.— AFP