Bridge collapses in Italy after violent storm

A violent storm in southern Italy has caused a viaduct to partially collapse, according to Italian state police.

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 7:34 AM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 7:37 AM

At least 20 people died and 13 people were injured after a section of a highway bridge in northern Italy partially collapsed Tuesday, according to Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency.

Speaking to journalists, Borrelli said that around 30 vehicles and several heavy-duty trucks were on the affected section of the Morandi Bridge, which lies to the west of the port city of Genoa, when it gave way.

The number of casualties is expected to grow as the rubble is removed, Borrelli said, however it is unlikely that anyone was underneath the bridge at the time of the collapse, he added.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that several crushed vehicles are under the rubble with dead people inside, citing unnamed sources who did not provide a specific number of casualties. Some trucks ended up in the Polcevera river, Carabinieri police sources told ANSA.

In a separate report, citing sources in the fire and rescue services, ANSA said that "tens of people" were among the victims and that two people had been pulled out of vehicles alive.

Luca Cari, spokesman for the fire service, told Italian news agency Rai that rescuers were searching for people underneath the rubble as if this were an earthquake.

According to Rai, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will travel to Genoa later Tuesday.

The A10 is a major highway for residents and tourists in Genoa, connecting the city with the nearby airport, and a key route along the Mediterranean, linking the Italian coast with French coastal cities to the west.

The incident occurred around noon (6 a.m. ET) Tuesday, Italian state police said, later posting a video on Twitter of the moment the bridge gave way.

Police said that a violent storm was the cause of the collapse. An automated report from the weather station at the nearby Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport around the time of the incident recorded thunderstorms with winds gusting to 57 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour).

Shortly after the collapse, rescue vehicles were seen racing to the site. Several hours later, around 200 firefighters were still working at the scene, according to the Italian fire service.

Giorgio Larosa posted a video on Instagram showing rescuers working in heavy rain to free people from crushed vehicles in a grassy area below the bridge.

"The debris from the collapsed (bridge) fell 20 meters from my car," eyewitness Davide Ricci told local newspaper Il Secolo XIX. He said he saw the bridge give way as he drove south along the river road nearby. "The central pylon crumbled, then the rest came down," he said.

Later Tuesday, Giorgio Mascione posted a video on Twitter showing the large gap between the two remaining sections of the viaduct, and the piles of rubble beneath.

The bridge, also known as the Polcevera Viaduct, was designed by Italian civil engineer Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1968.

Maintenance works were underway to consolidate parts of the bridge, according to motorway operator Autostrade. A bridge crane had been installed to allow those works to be carried out, the operator said in a statement.

"The works and the status of the viaduct were subject to constant observation and supervision," the statement said. "The causes for the collapse will be the object of an in-depth analysis a soon as it will be possible to safely access the site."

Italy's Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli tweeted, "I am following with the utmost apprehension what has happened to #Genoa and which looms as an immense tragedy. We are in close contact with Autostrade and we are going to the site with the deputy Minister Rixi. My total closeness at this time to the city."

In a tweet, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini thanked the rescue workers at the scene and said, "we are following the situation minute by minute."

This story has been corrected to reflect that the city of Genoa is located in northern Italy.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 954230

Reported Deaths: 15474
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1298902003
Lake638781106
Allen54326765
Hamilton44326448
St. Joseph42368592
Elkhart33998491
Vanderburgh30740451
Tippecanoe27012251
Johnson23862420
Hendricks22576343
Porter21943348
Clark17657231
Madison17628387
Vigo16465285
Monroe14637193
LaPorte14493241
Delaware14291225
Howard14058274
Kosciusko11562137
Hancock11022168
Warrick10793179
Bartholomew10730171
Floyd10584209
Wayne10169230
Grant9271206
Morgan9000160
Boone8507112
Dubois7823124
Dearborn776391
Henry7749134
Noble7510101
Marshall7452129
Cass7244118
Lawrence7080154
Shelby6701111
Jackson666386
Gibson6233107
Harrison613287
Huntington608397
Montgomery5903106
DeKalb587591
Knox5589105
Miami554889
Putnam547668
Clinton540566
Whitley534054
Steuben506570
Wabash492792
Jasper487763
Jefferson478992
Ripley463477
Adams448868
Daviess4267109
Scott413065
Clay398358
Greene396892
White396158
Wells393285
Decatur391297
Fayette383380
Posey364341
Jennings358857
Washington336847
LaGrange327375
Spencer323037
Randolph320290
Fountain320156
Sullivan311349
Owen289764
Starke287565
Fulton282356
Orange279259
Jay260038
Perry256353
Carroll247129
Franklin244938
Rush238930
Vermillion237751
Parke222421
Tipton214255
Pike214041
Blackford172934
Pulaski170351
Crawford148519
Newton147046
Benton144716
Brown136646
Martin130618
Switzerland127810
Warren116116
Union99511
Ohio80911
Unassigned0494

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1393696

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1544531574
Cuyahoga1364632341
Hamilton991581326
Montgomery682681161
Summit571661051
Lucas51927869
Butler48223663
Stark42502983
Lorain32263539
Warren30544338
Mahoning27651643
Clermont26123297
Lake24920422
Delaware22656147
Licking20886246
Fairfield20833223
Greene20708275
Trumbull20465516
Medina20236290
Clark18277332
Richland16793236
Portage16501231
Wood16002209
Allen14459261
Miami14091261
Muskingum13019155
Wayne12306244
Columbiana12094242
Tuscarawas11297271
Marion10960150
Pickaway10675129
Scioto10618127
Erie9905171
Ross9685177
Lawrence9005125
Hancock8667143
Ashtabula8533187
Belmont8301188
Geauga8294156
Jefferson7785175
Huron7598131
Union745351
Washington7451126
Athens712965
Sandusky7003135
Darke6906137
Knox6876122
Seneca6551137
Ashland6095115
Auglaize598788
Shelby5867104
Brown579072
Mercer566790
Crawford5603117
Defiance5587101
Madison552571
Highland551782
Fulton544583
Clinton537681
Logan521987
Preble5131111
Putnam4915107
Guernsey489464
Williams471582
Perry466254
Champaign456664
Ottawa444684
Jackson438763
Pike402645
Morrow400551
Coshocton398069
Fayette385253
Adams373675
Hardin369470
Gallia357858
Henry332969
Holmes3328111
Van Wert323271
Hocking312570
Wyandot286858
Carroll268252
Paulding248843
Meigs225542
Monroe193449
Noble174942
Morgan171229
Harrison161941
Vinton143119
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
A weak cold front brings slightly cooler air to the region Tuesday.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events