Italy bridge collapse death toll rises to 39

Davide Capello a soccer player was on the motorway bridge in Genoa in Italy when it collapsed

Davide Capello a soccer player was on the motorway bridge in Genoa in Italy when it collapsed

Similar calls on the management of Autostrade to step down and threats of possible withdrawal of its license to operate the country's highways came from the deputy premier Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini, heads respectively of the ruling coalition's partners Five Star Movement and League.

Working with heavy equipment, rescuers climbed over concrete slabs with sniffer dogs all through the night and into the day, searching for survivors or bodies.

"These outcomes have formed the basis for maintenance work approved by the Transport Ministry in accordance with the law and the terms of the concession aggreement", it said.

Vehicles on the bridge plummeted as far as 90 metres.

Fire officials in charge of the search and rescue operation said it was like searching for quake victims.

"All accessible spaces have been explored, now we are moving the largest pieces of debris", Gissi said.

"Fifty years ago, we had unlimited confidence in reinforced concrete, we thought it was eternal, but now we know that it only lasted a few decades", Diego Zoppi, former president of the Genoa branch of the order of architects, told reporters on Tuesday.

More than 200 metres (650 feet) of the 1960s bridge crumpled without warning as traffic crossed the busy stretch of motorway on Tuesday, in the deadliest disaster of its kind in Europe since 2001.

In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

"Italians have the right to modern and efficient infrastructure that accompanies them safely through their everyday lives", Mr Mattarella said in a statement.

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Genoa´s leading public prosecutor Francesco Cozzi on Wednesday said that the incident "definitely wasn´t bad luck".

As cars and trucks tumbled off the bridge, Afifi Idriss, 39, a Moroccan lorry driver, just managed to come to a halt in time.

"There has been negligence, they underestimated the danger. we need to find the culprits, it is a scandal, the guilty must pay!"

The collapse of what has now been dubbed "the bridge of death" in Italy left a gaping hole in the heart of this city - and many unanswered questions about whether the structure, which local residents say was under a constant state of fix, was still fit for goal half a century after it was built. Around 35 vehicles were driving on it when the bridge collapsed.

Genoa, home to half a million people, is located between the sea and the mountains of northwestern Italy.

On Tuesday, a specialist engineering website called "" wrote that the bridge had long presented "structural doubts" and labelled it "an accident 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. "I was never sure of it, you'd always hear these noises whenever lorries were going over".

Francis said: "I am especially thinking of all those tried by the tragedy in Genoa yesterday, which caused victims and a sense of loss in the population".

"When I heard it had collapsed, I wasn't surprised".

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