Bridge search ends as family’s bodies found

Women mourn over a coffin with the Albanian flag draped over it ahead of a state funeral for one of the victims in Genoa, Italy. (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Women mourn over a coffin with the Albanian flag draped over it ahead of a state funeral for one of the victims in Genoa, Italy. (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP)

The bodies of a couple and their nine-year-old daughter were pulled from the twisted rubble of the collapsed Genoa bridge, officially drawing a line under the search and rescue mission.

Firefighters discovered the last remaining missing people who were killed when the Morandi bridge gave way during a thunderstorm last Tuesday, sending about 50 vehicles plunging to the ground.

The body of a labourer in his 30s was pulled from the rubble and another man died in hospital over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 43.

Two of the nine injured still in hospital are in a serious condition.

“Rescue workers are now making the site secure and helping investigations to establish the cause of the disaster,” Stefano Zanut, a fire brigade official, told Sky TG24 yesterday.

“The government stands with Genoa and with its people not only in words, but also in deeds,” Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, wrote on Facebook yesterday. The government on Saturday approved €28.5m in funds for the emergency, which would add to a first €5m payment.

The viaduct, part of the A10 linking the port city with the French border to the west, was managed by toll-road operator Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia.

Autostrade pledged half a billion euro on Saturday to rebuild the bridge and set up funds to immediately assist the families of the victims and those displaced from their homes by the collapse.

On Friday, the government launched a procedure to revoke concessions held by Autostrade to operate toll highways.

The government will launch a plan next month aimed at making Italy’s infrastructure safe, said Giancarlo Giorgetti, undersecretary in the prime minister’s office. It would include motorways, bridges and viaducts and public buildings like schools.

“It will be a maintenance operation with no precedents, with enormous investment in public works,” he told ‘Il Messaggero’.

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Meanwhile, an audit commissioned by the French government says about 840 French bridges are suffering from serious damage and at risk of eventual collapse.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government had already promised new infrastructure spending but is coming under new pressure after the Genoa disaster.

The audit, published yesterday by the ‘Journal du Dimanche’ newspaper, says of the 12,000 government-maintained bridges in France, a third need repairs and 7pc, or about 840, present a “risk of collapse” in the coming years and may be closed down. Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said last week that bridge “maintenance is our priority”.

Irish Independent

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