Swiss Re reveals ties to Genoa bridge collapse tragedy

Ivan Schwartz
August 19, 2018

On Thursday authorities said as many as 20 people feared to be near the site of the disaster were still unaccounted for.

The Government had declared Saturday a national day of mourning and declared a state of emergency for Genoa, one of Italy's largest ports.

Firefighter Stefano Zanut told Sky TG24 TV they had extracted from tons of broken concrete the crushed vehicle of an Italian couple on vacation with their nine-year-old daughter.

The Italian highway company in charge of the Genoa highway bridge that collapsed says it can build a new bridge in eight months.

Leading politicians have blamed Autostrade for the Genoa disaster.

"I lost a friend but I came for all the victims", Nunzio Angone told AFP.

Another two were draped in the Albanian flag featuring a black eagle against a red background.

Firefighters were applauded as they entered the hall ahead of the ceremony, due to begin at 11:30 am (0930 GMT or 5:30 pm Philippine time).

A state of emergency has since been declared, as rescuers continue to look for survivors, while Saturday has been declared a national day of mourning, on which funerals of numerous victims are set to be held.

Later, San Martino Hospital said a Romanian truck driver who had suffered severe cranial and chest injuries in the bridge collapse died Saturday evening.

Roberto, father of another victim, used social media to vent his anger: "My son will not become a number in the catalogue of deaths caused by Italian failures".

"We do not want a farce of a funeral but a ceremony at home".

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Coffins containing bodies of victims of the Genoa bridge collapse are seen at the Genoa Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre in Genoa, Italy August 17, 2018.

Before the state funeral, President Sergio Mattarella, head bowed, paused in silence before the coffins, then spoke briefly with each group of families.

Players of the city's two soccer teams, Genoa and Sampdoria, sat among the crowd, having refused to play matches this weekend in sign of respect.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had demanded that the company offer up to 500 million euros to help families and local government deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

Belgium and several other European Union countries also scored worse than Italy in a World Economic Forum survey of road infrastructure quality.

Still, thousands of people attended the state funeral, and applause broke out as rescuers and Civil Defense Department members arrived to take part.

Autostrade per l'Italia, which runs almost half of Italy's motorway network, has set aside €500m (£448m) to rebuild the structure and aid the port city in its recovery from the disaster.

It denies scrimping on motorway maintenance, saying it has invested over one billion euros a year in "safety, maintenance and strengthening of the network" since 2012.

Shares in the parent company of Autostrade per l'Italia, which runs the highway plunged more than 30 per cent in the days after the collapse, but were recovering slightly on Friday as investors said government threats to revoke its concessions might be political rhetoric rather than a likely outcome.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Autostrade "had the duty and obligation to assure the maintenance of this viaduct and the security of all those who travelled on it".

Government officials were set to join a police meeting in Genoa to discuss contingency measures for the city, which has been split in two.

Other reports by GizPress

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