'At least 35' killed
At least 35 people were killed when a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rains yesterday morning over buildings in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, Italy's ANSA news agency cited fire brigade sources as saying.
A 50-metre high section of the bridge, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down in the rain onto the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing vehicles below and plunging huge slabs of reinforced concrete into the nearby riverbed.
"People living in Genoa use this bridge twice a day, we can't live with infrastructures built in the 1950s and 1960s," Deputy Transport Minister Edoardo Rixi said on SkyNews24, speaking from Genoa.
Within hours of the disaster, the anti-establishment government which took office in June said it showed Italy needed to spend more to improve its dilapidated infrastructure, ignoring EU budget constraints if necessary.
"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these (budget) limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens. Obviously for me it is not," said deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the right-wing League which governs with the 5-Star Movement.
Helicopter footage on social media showed trucks and cars stranded on either side of the 80-metre long collapsed section of the Morandi Bridge, built on the A10 toll motorway in the late 1960s. One truck was shown just metres away from the broken end of the bridge.
Motorist Alessandro Megna told RAI state radio he had been in a traffic jam below the bridge and seen the collapse.
"Suddenly the bridge came down with everything it was carrying. It was really an apocalyptic scene, I couldn't believe my eyes," he said.