35 dead as bridge collapses in Italy

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At least 35 people have been confirmed dead after a motorway bridge collapsed last night in the northwest Italian city of Genoa

According to the BBC, death toll has climbed to 35, as cars and trucks plummeted 45m (148ft) on to rail tracks, buildings and a river along with slabs of concrete.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised that anyone found to be responsible for the bridge collapse would be held to account.

“I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times,” he said. “Now, as an Italian citizen, I will do everything to get the names and surnames of the managers responsible, past and present, because it is unacceptable to die like that in Italy.”

A representative of the motorway’s operator, Autostrade, told Reuters news agency there had been “no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous”.

It fell around 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT) during heavy rain. Police reported a violent cloudburst.

“We saw lightning strike the bridge,” eyewitness Pietro M all’Asa was quoted as saying by Ansa. “And we saw the bridge going down.”

Engineers say it is too early to determine the cause of the collapse but that lightning is unlikely to be the reason.

Another witness, unnamed, recalled: “We heard an incredible roar and first we thought it was thunder very close by.

“We live about 5km [three miles] from the bridge but we heard a crazy bang… We were very scared… Traffic went completely haywire and the city was paralysed.”

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