Italy bridge collapse death toll rises to 39

Canadian train travellers narrowly avoid deadly Italian bridge collapseMore

Canadian train travellers narrowly avoid deadly Italian bridge collapseMore

A vast span of the Morandi bridge caved in during a heavy rainstorm in the northern port city on Tuesday, sending about 35 cars and several trucks plunging 45 metres (150 feet) onto the railway tracks below. At least two more were pulled out.

One entire family died in the accident, Sciuto added.

Italian authorities have raised the death toll in the Genoa highway bridge collapse to at least 37.

More than 30 vehicles crashed to the ground when the suspension bridge failed during a storm on Tuesday.

Fire officials in charge of the search and rescue operation said it was like searching for natural disaster victims.

Emergency teams say they are treating recovery efforts like an quake, removing rubble carefully in search of survivors.

After stopping the vehicle he ran from the bridge. It happened as many families were on the road ahead of a major summer holiday Wednesday in parts of Europe.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and key members of his cabinet are in Genoa to hold meetings and monitor rescue operations.

Lauren Stewart, director of Structural Engineering and Materials Laboratory at Georgia Tech University, told CNN that there could be issues with maintenance, explaining that there are a "huge number of bridges and infrastructure in general that's reaching this end-of-service life", as was the case with the Morandi Bridge.

"Fifty years ago, we had unlimited confidence in reinforced concrete, we thought it was eternal, but now we know that it only lasted a few decades", Diego Zoppi, former president of the Genoa branch of the order of architects, told reporters on Tuesday.

But Autostrade, a unit of Milan-listed Atlantia group, said it had done regular, sophisticated checks on the structure before the disaster, relying on "companies and institutions which are world leaders in testing and inspections" and that these had provided reassuring results. "It seemed like a scene from a film, it was the apocalypse".

Professor Brencich warned it would cost more to fix the "uneven" construction of the major highway in Italy's city of Genoa.

He said there was "no reason to consider the bridge was unsafe".

AMONG the visions of destruction from the "apocalyptic" bridge collapse in Italy, a lucky truckie has emerged as the poster image of the tragedy as he lingers mere metres away from the brink of death.

Italy's deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, blamed the bridge collapse on a lack of maintenance by the private company that operates numerous nation's toll highways. It is in continual maintenance. The post about that project on the Movement's website was removed after the bridge's collapse.

Anil Agrawal, Professor of Civil Engineering at the City College of NY told CNN that if there is corrosion in the concrete, water can cause a void, further corroding the cables.

"There is a risk that the houses are taken down", he said. "If you lose any cable you have a catastrophe in the making".

"It was affected by serious corrosion problems related to the technology that Morandi himself had patented, which he had not used anymore, and which proved to be disastrous", Brencich told Italian daily La Repubblica.

"We're not giving up hope, we've already saved a dozen people from under the rubble", said rescue official Emanuele Giffi.

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