'Dozens dead' in Italian bridge collapse

'Dozens dead' in Italian bridge collapse

The Morandi Bridge, part of the A10 motorway in northern Italian city of Genoa linking Italy to France, partly collapsed in heavy rain, sending vehicles plunging almost 150 feet to the ground.

According to a statement released given to Reuters Tuesday, motorway operator Autostrade said it had been carrying out maintenance work on the bridge to strengthen the road foundations.

About 10 vehicles were involved when a raised highway collapsed during a sudden and violent storm in the northern port city of Genoa.

Television images showed the bridge in the mist with a huge chunk missing, with Italian media reporting that about 200 metres of the bridge had fallen away.

Video captured the sound of a man screaming: "Oh God, oh, God".

The Morandi viaduct in Genoa, north-west Italy, collapsed during a fierce rainstorm, sending around 20 vehicles plunging 260ft into a heap of rubble below.

The incident occurred on the day before a major Italian religious holiday, Ferrogusto, the celebration of the ascension of Mary.

It is part of the major A10 highway that connects Italy with France.

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Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli tweeted to say he was following the developments but feared it would develop into an "immense tragedy". "The causes of the collapse will be thoroughly investigated as soon it is be safe to access the site".

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has described the disaster as "an incredible tragedy".

The Morandi Bridge, in Genoa, Italy, collapsed after a violent, sudden rainstorm hit around 11:30 a.m. on August 14.

Cars are blocked on the Morandi highway bridge after a section of it collapsed, in Genoa, northern Italy, Aug. 14, 2018.

The nation's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said those responsible for the 50-year-old structure's collapse will not escape consequences.

The Morandi Bridge, which is about 300 feet high and about three-quarters of a mile long, was inaugurated in 1967. The agency says search crews are using dogs to help find people in the rubble below.

Rescuers work among the debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy. A tanker truck carrying a highly flammable gas exploded after rear-ending a stopped truck and getting hit from behind.

One truck can be seen still perched at the end of the surviving section.

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