Italy hunts for blame in bridge collapse that killed 39

16 August, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy

Handout / Vigili del Fuoco / AFP.

Chilling images have emerged of the doomed Italian bridge "crumbling" up to 18 months before it collapsed, killing at least 39 people.

Two more bodies have been pulled out of tonnes of rubble after a bridge collapsed in Genoa, raising the death toll in the disaster to at least 39 people.

Genoa, home to half a million people, is located between the sea and the mountains of northwestern Italy.

Children aged eight, 12 and 13 were among the dead, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, adding that more people were still missing.

Roberto Robbiano, 44, his wife Ersilia Piccinino, 41, and their son Samuel all died in the tragedy, Italian newspaper La Stampa reported.

This was the fifth bridge collapse in Italy in five years, according to Corriere Della Sera.

"I don't know if there is responsibility".

"Instinctively, finding myself in front of the void, I put the van into reverse, to escape this hell", he added.

Four young French friends on their way to a techno music festival were also among the dead: Melissa Artu-Bastit, her boyfriend Nathan Gusman, and friends Axelle Place and William Pouzadoux.

The tragedy has focused anger on the structural problems that have dogged the decades-old bridge and the private sector firm Autostrade per l'Italia, which is now in charge of operating and maintaining swathes of the country's motorways.

Autostrade del Italia, the privately-owned company that had the contract for maintenance of the A10 motorway, said in a statement that "work was underway to shore up the foundations of the viaduct and that, as planned, a auto bridge had been installed to allow maintenance activities to be carried out".

Twitter suspends Alex Jones from key functions of account
Twitter is citing Jones for a tweet linking to a live video of Jones talking about "web censorship". However, neither social media company states how many violations would lead to a permanent ban.

"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an huge tragedy", Transport and Infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

The firm, which said the bridge had been undergoing maintenance work, however, released a statement refuting accusations that motorway infrastructure had been underfunded.

The top management of the private company responsible for maintenance of the motorway has been called on to resign.

Survivors who witnessed the bridge collapse have spoken about the horror moment of watching nearly 100m of road collapse as if it was "made with flour".

"I was driving along the bridge, and at a certain point I saw the road in front of me collapse, and I went down with the auto", Davide Capello told TV news channel Sky TG24. The driver of the green truck apparently had to hit his brakes because of the passing auto and was able to stop in time, he added.

Italy's government said it meant to revoke the company's contract and hit it with a fine of 150 million euros ($170 million).

Ian Firth, former president of The Institution of Structural Engineers, told the Daily Mail, "It is too early to say what caused the tragic collapse, but as this reinforced and prestressed concrete bridge has been there for 50 years it is possible that corrosion of tendons or reinforcement may be a contributory factor".

In 2016, Antonio Brencich of the University of Genoa's engineering faculty also sounded the alarm.

On Tuesday specialist engineering website published a piece that highlighted how the bridge had always presented "structural doubts", calling it "a tragedy waiting to happen".

The highway bridge was a link between two major highways, one going to France and the other to Milan.

Media reports said it would be held on Saturday to coincide with some of the funerals.



Liga announces free-to-air deal with Facebook in India
The deal will allow hundreds of millions of south Asian users to watch top-tier Spanish football matches for free. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Facebook will stream all 380 La Liga matches this season.

Contestant On Trump-Omarosa Dating Show 'The Ultimate Merger' Spills The Beans
The dispute with Manigault Newman and the recent dust-up with James made him even more unpopular with African-Americans. Mr Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric against Manigault Newman on Tuesday. "I don't know who signed them".

Manchester United confident over new David De Gea deal
The Spain star has managed to continually improved his game even as United struggled in the aftermath of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

Korean Leaders Agree to New September Summit in Pyongyang
At the Panmunjom summit , Kim also agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He also lauded the June 12 Singapore summit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S.

Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) Exchange Rate Restrained by Global Unease
The Q2 growth projections met forecasts, but June's monthly growth figure fell short of expectations with a result of 0.1%. Most investors still expect Britain to secure a trade deal with the European Union , but the risk of no deal is rising.

Flood toll in India's tourist hotspot Kerala jumps to 67
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "We're witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala". The biggest problem is no power supply in many flooded areas, with mobile phones running low on batteries", said Abraham.

Iraq PM defends stance on U.S. sanctions against Iran
Yet, Washington began restoring sanctions, which had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, on Iran last week. The official says the Turkey visit will go ahead as planned.

Manchester City star De Bruyne suffers knee injury
In 2016, he missed 12 games after injuring his right knee during an EFL Cup semi-final victory over Everton . De Bruyne only returned to full training last week after a delayed summer break following the World Cup.

China freezes all game license approvals
The freeze follows a reorganisation of the government bodies that oversee gaming and other media sectors earlier in the year. The poor result punctuates an abrupt about-face in sentiment this year as Beijing chilled the world's largest gaming arena.

N’Golo Kante reveals ‘sacrifice’ Blues must make under Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante says being a World Cup victor counts for little now the new Premier League season is underway. However, former Napoli coach Mauricio Sarri was confirmed as Conte's replacement at the Premier League giants.