02:26 GMT02 March 2021
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    Deadly Bridge Collapse in Genoa, Italy (23)

    The death toll continues to rise as rescue workers look for survivors of the bridge collapse. Rescuers have little hope of finding more survivors underneath the Morandi Bridge, where almost 40 vehicles fell 148 feet in the collapse. The cause is not yet known but there have been calls for the heads of the company operating the bridge to resign.

    Hundreds of firefighters worked overnight with lifting gear, climbing equipment and sniffer dogs to try to locate more survivors. The city's authorities have declared two days of mourning. There are 16 people being treated in hospital, 12 of them in a serious condition.

    The Morandi Bridge, built in the 1960s, stands on the A10 toll motorway, an important conduit for goods traffic from local ports, which also serves the Italian Riviera and southeast coast of France. Sputnik spoke to Journalist Laurie Timmers about the latest from Genoa.

    Sputnik: What’s the latest from Genoa?

    Laurie Timmers: Rescue operations are still ongoing in Genoa after the bridge collapsed, several fire brigade operators are currently on site digging with machines and with bare hands in order to find all those people who are currently missing.

    It’s currently unknown how many people are missing, because we not just speaking about the residents living in that area but also cars and trucks circulating on the bridge at the moment it collapsed.

    The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa in this picture released by Italian firefighters on August 14, 2018
    © REUTERS / Italian Firefighters Press Office
    So it’s not known how many people are exactly missing, but its certified that 39 people died, and at least 15 people were injured, 9 of which are critical at the moment. Another quite concerning is the number of people that have been evacuated, hundreds of people that have lost homes.

    They have been relocated to hotels and guest houses within the area, they might stay for a period that’s probably medium to long term as what’s left of the bridge has to be destroyed and possibly rebuild in the next years.

    Sputnik: How have the authorities responded to the tragedy, with transport minister calling for resignations?

    Laurie Timmers: Danilo Toninelli who is transport for transport and infrastructure is not resigning, he has not mentioned recognition. He was cited by the deputy prime minister on what he proposes of the Highway concession management, the highways of Italy that is a private society Bennatonne is major shareholder of.

    Together with the eradication of these rights of the highway management, he is calling for at least 150 million euros fines for the negligence of the structure.

    Sputnik: Were there warnings about the bridge and has safety regulations been ignored?

    Laurie Timmers: It is possible; I mean its speculation at the moment because there’s no official confirmation yet on the matter.

    With the speculation there is corruption in Italy when building structures, so there could be a chance that if safety regulations were in place and the right materials for buildings were used and if everything was done correctly maybe this wasn’t going to happen. So there is a case that maybe foreign materials were used in the building, some safety regulations were not in place

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Laurie Timmers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Deadly Bridge Collapse in Genoa, Italy (23)


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    safety regulations, casualties, construction, corruption, Morandi Bridge, Laurie Timmers, Italy, Genoa
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