Genoa motorway bridge collapses kills 30 including child

Around 30 people have died, including a child, and many more are fighting for their lives after after a 200-metre long section of an Italian motorway bridge collapsed.

Devastating footage shows the viaduct on the A10 motorway in Genoa disintegrating in the catastrophe at around 11.30am today.

Around 10 vehicles are believed to have been on the road when both carriageways fell away.

Around 200 firefighters plus ambulance and police personnel are on the scene of the huge structure, which broke off near the city’s airport.

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, told reporters: "Around 30 people are dead and many others are seriously injured."

There had been heavy rain during a violent storm before the incident and Italian media reported that the bridge had been struck by lightening.

Two survivors have so far been pulled out – but the death toll is expected to rise.

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The bridge began to break apart at one of the columns at Via Fillak, in the Sampierdarena area.

An 80-metre section, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down in the rain onto the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing at least one truck and plunging huge slabs of concrete into the river below.

Firemen are still working to pull people from under the wreckage after cars and trucks fell more than 300ft into a river and grassland below.

Sonar teams and rescue dogs also joined emergency crews at the scene to find and free survivors from the rubble.

There were huge tailbacks in all directions near the bridge, which was seen sparking before breaking apart.

Harrowing photos show ‘apocalyptic scene’ of tragedy in Italy that killed ‘dozens’

Danilo Toninelli, Italy’s Transport Minister, has said that the bridge collapse is "an immense tragedy" that he was "following with great apprehension".

He had earlier said there were 22 victims, but this total would "certainly rise significantly".

His deputy Minister Edoardo Rixi added: "It’s not acceptable that such an important bridge… was not built to avoid this kind of collapse."

Helicopter footage on social media showed trucks and cars stranded on either side of the 50-metre high collapsed section of the Morandi Bridge, which was built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.

One truck was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge.

An eyewitness told Sky Italia television he saw "eight or nine" vehicles on the bridge when it collapsed in what he said was an "apocalyptic scene"

Police footage showed firemen working to clear debris around a crushed truck, while other fireman nearby scaled broken slabs of the collapsed bridge support.

Footage shows first aiders at the location of the tragedy, where the area is covered in rubble.

Smashed cars lie with doors hanging open, while medics are seen running across the ground below where the bridge once stood.

Injured people are lifted with stretchers while others are being treated on the spot.

Other images showed a green truck that had stopped on the bridge just yards short of the gaping hole in the road surface.

Restructuring work on the 1.2 km-long bridge, a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France’s southern coast, was carried out in 2016.

The highway operator said work to shore up its foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.

Authorities are working on a theory that a structural weakness was the cause of the collapse.

The bridge, also known as the Polcevera Viaduct, is named after its architect Riccardo Morandi.

Construction began in 1962 and was completed in 1968.

The 1,100 metres-long structure is said to be the first cable-stayed concrete bridge ever built in Europe.

Italy’s anti-establishment government which took office in June has pledged to increase public investments and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from EU deficit calculations.

"The tragic facts in Genoa remind us of the public investments that we so badly need," said Claudio Borghi, economics spokesman of the right-wing League party, which governs with the 5-Star Movement.

The office of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was heading to Genoa in the evening and would remain there on Wednesday.

Defence minister Elisabetta Trenta said the army was ready to offer manpower and vehicles to help with the rescue operations.

Train services around Genoa have been halted.

Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 6.3 percent after news of the collapse.

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