€5bn wiped off Italian bridge operator Atlantia after Genoa disaster

Ruben Ruiz
August 16, 2018

Tragedy struck when the 50-metre-high section of the Genoa bridge crashed down during a violent storm on Tuesday, with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it. He declined to say on Thursday how many people are feared missing. He told RAI television the government meant to cancel its deal to manage the A10 toll motorway connecting Genoa to French border.

Toninelli called for top leaders at the company to resign.

Mr Conte confirmed the government's intention to revoke the contract from private sector firm Autostrade per l'Italia, which was in charge of operating and maintaining the bridge and the A10 motorway it was part of.

State radio reported Wednesday that some 5-Star lawmakers in 2013 had questioned the wisdom of an ambitious, expensive infrastructure overhaul program as possibly wasteful, but that a post about that on the Movement's site was removed Tuesday after the bridge's collapse.

Fire services chief Emanuele Gissi told CNN Wednesday morning that no new survivors had been found overnight, but three more bodies had been discovered.

"Fifty years ago we had complete confidence in reinforced concrete", said Zoppi.

Italy's deputy prime minister has blamed the deadly collapse of a highway bridge on the European Union, even though officials have yet to establish the cause of the disaster.

The president, Sergio Mattarella, expressed his condolences in a statement, while stressing that Italians should be guaranteed the right "to modern and efficient infrastructure that accompanies everyday life".

In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy.

Engineering experts, noting that the bridge was 51 years old, said corrosion and decades of wear-and-tear from weather could have been factors in its collapse.

Pope Francis sent his condolences to the victims, saying the tragedy has "caused desperation among the population".

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Genoa prosecutor Francesco Cozzi told reporters: "I don't know if there is responsibility".

"They have problems that, if not addressed in time, could potentially lead to structural failures", a leading structural engineer told "La Repubblica" newspaper.

That is how an article in the specialist engineering website Ingegneri.info referred to the structure, calling it "a tragedy waiting to happen".

One factory, immediately next to one of the viaduct's support columns, was virtually empty on Tuesday on the eve of a national holiday, and seems to have sustained minimal damage. "There was no reason to consider the bridge unsafe". "I was never sure of it, you'd always hear these noises whenever lorries were going over".

"When I heard it had collapsed, I was not surprised".

Raw video: Emergency workers in Genoa, Italy, clear debris and wrecked vehicles from the scene of the collapse. "Everyone from Genoa crossed the bridge".

Autostrade, which operates almost 3,200km of Italian motorways, is controlled by the Benetton group through its holding company, Atlantia.

"We are not quake victims - although we are living like them for now - they can't blame their disgrace on a natural disaster." said a man interviewed by Corriere della Sera yesterday.

"I saw the bridge collapse in the rear-view mirror, a awful fear, I'm miraculously alive", he told Repubblica.

"I saw the green lorry in front of me stop and then reverse so I stopped too, locked the truck and ran", he told AFP.

Other reports by GizPress

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