Pope Francis prays for victims of Genoa bridge collapse

Pope Francis prays for victims of Genoa bridge collapse

Pope Francis prays for victims of Genoa bridge collapse

Italy's populist government was on a war footing on Thursday with the Italian operator of the bridge that collapsed and killed dozens in the port city of Genoa as desperate efforts to find survivors in the rubble went into a third day. A large section of the bridge collapsed over an industrial area in the Italian city of Genova during a sudden and violent storm, leaving vehicles crushed in rubble below. Autostrade operates many of Italy's toll highways, according to The Associated Press.

Italy's minister of transportation and infrastructure, Danilo Toninelli, said there was a plan pending to spend 20 million euro ($22.7 million) on bids for significant safety work on the bridge. "Autostrade should have done maintenance and didn't do it".

Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli described the collapse as "what seems like an vast tragedy".

Debris must also be cleared from rail tracks, a vital link especially now that Genoa is largely cut in half by the loss of such a key artery, Mr Conte said. "In the last five years (2012-2017) the company's investment in the security, maintenance and strengthening of the network has been over one billion euros a year", it said.

Genoa chief prosecutor Francesco Cozzi said it is a disaster caused by human failure and those responsible will be liable for manslaughter.

"It was just after 11.30 when we saw lightning strike the bridge", eyewitness Pietro M all'Asa was quoted as saying by Italy's Ansa news agency.

Video of the collapse captured a man screaming: "Oh, God!"

Hundreds of rescue workers and canine crews were on the scene, using heavy equipment and dogs to search for possible survivors. Salvini said Wednesday that the Fire Brigade had extracted the final body after working through the night.

And Canada's Globe and Mail reports that "mafia-related companies are known to have infiltrated the Italian cement and reconstruction industries over the decades, and prosecutors have accused them of doing shoddy work that can not withstand high stress".

The dead include children aged eight, 12 and 13, according to Salvini, while three Chileans and four French nationals are among those killed.

Atlantia, which is owned by the Benetton fashion company, said in a statement before opening that revoking the concession required certain findings, including specific fault by the company and a determination of the cause of the collapse.

Pope Francis offered prayers for all those affected.

The Morandi Bridge, named after the engineer who designed it, forms part of the A10 motorway run by Autostrade.

It was designed by Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1967, but restructuring work was done in 2016.

ROME A former goalkeeper for Italian Serie A club Cagliari survived the deadly collapse of the motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday despite going down with the bridge in his auto and ending up among the rubble.

Elsewhere, world leaders posted messages of support to those dealing with the disaster and paid tribute to the victims.

AMONG the visions of destruction from the "apocalyptic" bridge collapse in Italy, a lucky truckie has emerged as the poster image of the tragedy as he lingers mere metres away from the brink of death.

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