12:36 GMT +315 October 2018
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    A motorway bridge which collapsed on Tuesday near the northern Italian port city of Genoa

    Genoa Bridge Tragedy: Morandi CEO Apologizes After Viaduct Collapse

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    Deadly Bridge Collapse in Genoa, Italy (23)
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    ROME (Sputnik) - CEO of Autostrade per l'Italia, which manages and maintains most of Italy's toll roads, including the collapsed Morandi bridge in the city of Genoa, apologized on Saturday for the tragedy for the first time since it has happened.

    A large section of Ponte Morandi collapsed on Tuesday, with at least 30 cars plunging hundreds of feet to the ground. According to the latest data, 43 people were killed in the incident. On Wednesday, Italian Minister of Economic Development, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, placed all the responsibility for the bridge collapse on Autostrade per l'Italia. On Friday, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Danilo Toninelli said that his ministry had officially initiated the procedure for the cancellation of the state's concession agreement with Autostrade per l'Italia.

    "I apologize profoundly. I express my grief and closeness to the relatives of the victims, their friends, the Genoese, this is the pain that I carry in my heart," Giovanni Castellucci said during a special press conference in Genoa, which was broadcast live by Italian news channels.

    Castellucci assured that Autostrade per l'Italia intended to alleviate the suffering of people whose relatives died as a result of the collapse of the bridge. He announced that the company was creating a special fund worth "millions of euros" for the tragedy's victims.

    He added that the company was ready to begin work on restoring the collapsed bridge.

    "It is our primary responsibility to restore this bridge and to resume traffic on it, and we have a project that will allow us to do this within eight months, including the dismantling and restoration process to get a new steel bridge," Castellucci said.

    He reiterated that the company had no information that the collapsed bridge had been in a critical condition."All the reports that I was acknowledged with said that its condition was good," he said.

    The top manager added that this issue would be the subject of analysis and expertise, which will be held at the request of the prosecutor's office.

    This is the first public appearance of Autostrade per l'Italia leadership after the tragedy in Genoa. Until now, Castellucci has been limited to brief statements that "all the work and condition of the viaduct were under constant surveillance and control," and that "there was no evidence that the bridge was posing threat."

    Italy declared a national mourning on Saturday. More than 600 people lost their homes located near the bridge, because they were forced to leave them. Earlier in the day, the state funeral of 18 people, including a nine-year-old boy, who died as a result of the motorway collapse, was held at one of the premises of the city's fair grounds. Nine people injured in the incident remain in hospitals, eight of them in serious condition.

    WATCH Aftermath of Genoa Bridge Collapse Captured From a Bird's Eye View

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    Deadly Bridge Collapse in Genoa, Italy (23)

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    ceo, apology, tragedy, collapse, Morandi Bridge, Autostrade per l'Italia, Giovanni Castellucci, Genoa, Italy
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