A view of the collapsed bridge in Genua with a rescue helicopter and fire trucks. Screen dump from Time´s yourtube channel.
15 Aug 2018

Death toll rising in Genua bridge collaps: 39 dead and hundreds evacuated near the bridge

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The death toll rises after the bridge collapse in Genoa in northwestern Italy on Tuesday. At least 39 people have died and hundreds of people are evacuated near the bridge:
"There is a risk that other parts of the bridge will collaps," a rescue worker said to an Italian news agency.


It was at noon on Tuesday, local time, that a large section of the Morandi bridge collapsed and fell close to 50 meters, down on railway tracks and warehouses in an industrial area in Genoa, northwestern Italy. More than 30 vehicles fell down in the bridge collapse, according to the Italian Red Cross.

Italian police announced new numbers on Wednesday morning when firefighters worked on searching for survivors during the night. At least 39 people have been currently found dead in the rubble.

"The vast majority of people who perished were in the cars on the bridge when it was raining, the bridge just fell over a dried river where very few people," said SVT Nws agency´s reporter David Boati, who is on location in Genoa.

- The people I met sighed and said, "This is Italy, we all knew this bridge was broken. We have known for a long time that it was in bad  condition and that it needed to be taken care of, but nothing has been done, "says David Boati.

David Boati also tells several Italian speakers that he meets are dissatisfied with Italian politics.


 

Hundreds of people are evacuated

432 people have been evacuated their homes in eleven buildings near the bridge, according to the twitter account for region of Liguria .

"There is a risk that other parts of the bridge will collapse, so we have evacuated people from all nearby buildings," said a rescue worker to the Italian news agency Ansa.

 

 

Two days of mourning in the city

All people who died were in their cars. Among the injured, some were in their homes near he bridge. A 75-year-old woman is reported to be seriously injured after inhalation of smoke when her home started to burn.

Genoa has declared two days of official mourning.

Currently firefighters are searching for more survivors. The next step is to try to figure out the exact cause of what happened and how to prevent similar collapses in the future

"There is also a debate about how many bridges there really are that in similar poor condition," said David Boati.

 

Other recent bridge collapses around the world:

 

March 2001 - 59 people died when a bridge pillar broke and several cars and a coach bus fell more  than 50 meters down into the Douro River in northern Portugal.


September 2001 - Eight people died when a bridge in Texas in the US was hit by barges and several cars fell into the water.


May 2002 - 14 people died when a bridge across the Arkansas River in Oklahoma, USA, was hit by a barge and colapsed. Several cars and trucks fells down the river.


August 2003 - 20 people, including 19 children, died when a bridge collapsed in the Indian state of Gujarat.


June 2007 - Eight people lost their lives when a bridge in the Guangdong Province in China collapsed after being hit by a cargo ship.


August 2007 - 13 people died when a 160-meter elevated highway across Mississippi collapsed during rush hour traffic in Minnesota, USA.


October 2009 - Five people died when a bridge in Costa Rica collapsed from being overloaded by heavy traffic.


August 2016 - 28 people in two buses and several other vehicles died when a bridge collapsed after floods in the state of Maharashtra in western India.


Sources: AFP, The New York Times, Tico Times.