Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 16th, 2018

Italy Bridge Operator Focus of Anger as Collapse Death Toll Rises

Italy Bridge Operator Focus of Anger  as Collapse Death Toll Rises

GENOA, Italy - Rescuers hunted for survivors among towering slabs of wreckage on Wednesday after a bridge collapse that killed 39, as furious government ministers rounded on the viaduct’s operator, saying it should pay fines and compensation and lose its concession.
The 50-year-old bridge, part of a toll motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, collapsed during torrential rain on Tuesday, sending dozens of vehicles crashing onto a riverbed, a railway and two warehouses.
Eye-witness Ivan, 37, evacuated on Tuesday from the nearby building where he works, described the collapse as unbelievable.
“To see a pylon come down like papier-mâché is an incredible thing,” he said. “It’s been a lifetime that we’ve known there were problems. It is in continual maintenance.”
“In the ‘90s they added some reinforcements on one part, but also underneath you can see rust.”
As cranes moved in to shift truck-sized chunks of broken concrete, hundreds of firefighters searched for survivors, while public shock and grief turned to anger over the state of the 1.2 km-long bridge, completed in 1967 and overhauled two years ago.
Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, visiting the disaster scene, said bridge operator Autostrade per l’Italia would have to contribute to the cost of its reconstruction as well as pay heavy fines. (Reuters)