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Genoa bridge collapse: dozens feared dead

Genoa bridge collapse: dozens feared dead


The collapsed bridge in the port city of Genoa


Andrea Leoni/AFP/Getty
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Genoa bridge collapse

Transport minister says ‘immense tragedy’ is unfolding in wreckage of the Ponte Morandi

One-Minute Read

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 3:03pm

Italian police say that “dozens” of people are believed to have died after a 160ft-high bridge collapsed in the northern port city of Genoa.

A central portion of the Ponte Morandi motorway bridge measuring around 250ft gave way suddenly at around 11.30am local time “during torrential rainfall”, sending concrete and cars plummeting onto the streets below, Reuters reports.

Local man Davide di Giorgio was filming the storm raging over the city on his phone when he inadvertently captured the moment of the collapse. He can he heard shouting “Oh Dio!” (Oh God!) as a massive section of the bridge crumbles:

One photo circulating on social media shows a lorry that appears to have ground to a halt just feet from the edge of the collapsed section:

La Repubblica journalist Antonello Guerrera tweeted that emerging reports from the scene paint a “catastrophic” picture, with emergency services racing to reach victims buried under rubble or trapped in vehicles.

Around 200 firefighters are already on the scene, along with sniffer dogs and heavy machinery to lift the debris.

There have been 20 confirmed fatalities, says state broadcaster Rai, calling the incident an “unprecedented disaster”.

Helicopter footage shows the scale of the devastation beneath the collapsed section, which ran above “shopping centres, factories, some homes, the Genoa-Milan railway line and the river”, says Italian news agency Ansa.

The bridge, built in the 1960s, is part of a major thoroughfare towards the Italian riviera and southern France.

The motorway operator said that “work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse”, NBC News reports.