Boy among 26 dead as bridge collapses in Genoa

The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy

Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, arrived in Genoa on Tuesday night and was expected to be joined later by his deputy, Luigi Di Maio. Italy's ANSA news agency reported that some 35 probably were killed, citing fire brigade sources.

The degradation may have also been compounded by heavy traffic on the bridge, which sees some 25 million vehicles every year and sits on a major artery, the A10, serving the Italian Riviera and linking northern Italy to France.

A huge section of the Morandi Bridge fell at midday over an industrial zone, sending tons of twisted steel and concrete onto warehouses below. "We need to remove all of the rubble to ascertain that all of the people have been reached", he said, adding that more than 280 rescue workers and dogs units were on the scene. "We're not giving up hope, we've already saved a dozen people from under the rubble", a fire official, Emanuele Giffi, told AFP.

"We hope to find more people alive", police official Alessandra Bucci said.

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 European Union budget constraints if necessary. "Obviously for me, it is not", said Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing League, which governs with the 5-Star Movement.

Salvini, who is also the interior minister, said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident. One truck was stopped just a few feet from the edge of the chasm - the edge of the bridge sheared cleanly off.

Some experts have suggested that the ongoing maintenance work may have been a factor in the collapse. "It was really an apocalyptic scene, I couldn't believe my eyes".

At least 35 people were killed when a bridge collapsed in Italy, police said. "We can't live with infrastructures built in the 1950s and 1960s".

Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli told Italian state television the disaster showed the dilapidated state of Italy's infrastructure and a lack of maintenance, adding that "those responsible will have to pay".

Atlantia and Autostrade did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"The collapse was unexpected and unpredictable".

He told local Italian TV he was standing in front of his truck under the bridge when the structure collapsed.

"I was driving along the bridge, and at a certain point I saw the road in front of me collapse, and I went down with the vehicle", he told local media.

He did not say at the time that it was in danger of collapsing, but that it required continuous maintenance and would eventually have to be torn down and replaced.

It was designed by Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1967, but restructuring work was done in 2016.

"I have gone over this bridge hundreds of times, and I commit to digging and finding out who is responsible for an unacceptable tragedy, because it's not possible that in 2018 you can work and die in these conditions", he said.

A former goalkeeper for Italian Serie A club Cagliari survived the deadly collapse of a motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday despite going down with the bridge in his auto and finishing among the rubble.

The shares were temporarily suspended when their slide exceeded 10 percent and closed the day down more than five percent at 23.54 euros.

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