At least 37 killed after highway bridge in Italy collapses

A long section of the Morandi Bridge near Genoa in Italy has dramatically collapsed and killed at least 37 people with many more feared to have lost their lives according to officials. 

It’s believed that about 30 vehicles and a few heavy-duty trucks were involved in the collapse when the bridge fell around 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT). Authorities in the country have said initially they believe that a violent storm caused the structure to give way.

Emergency services and rescue workers have attended the scene in huge numbers with lots of vehicles trapped in the rubble and nearby buildings damaged. Eyewitnesses have said that traffic was queueing on the Morandi Bridge at the time it broke up.

The section of the A10 highway affected crosses over several roads, railway tracks, shopping centres, homes and the Polcevera river between the districts of Sampierdarena and Cornigliano.. It is a major road which links central Genoa with Genoa airport and towns along the coast to the west of the city.

The bridge which was designed by Riccardo Morandi is 1,102m long and up to 90m high when measured from the three reinforced concrete piers. It was built between 1963 and 1967 by the Italian Society for Water Pipelines.

Reports say the last restructuring work was undertaken in 2016 with the highway operator saying work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse.

He added: "The work and the status of the viaduct were subject to constant observation and supervision by the Tronco Management of Genoa. The causes of the collapse will be analysed in depth as soon as it will be possible to safely access the places.”

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