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Fire in Italian bridge rubble hampers recovery efforts

19 August 2018

There were several faiths who died in the disaster. Some cited the need to bid farewell in private, while others blamed the loss of at least 38 lives on those responsible for the bridge's safety.

"The Morandi bridge collapse has pierced the heart of Genoa".

Giovanni Castellucci, CEO of Autostrade per l'Italia, the company that manages Italian highways and bridges, told reporters it has a plan to demolish what's left of the largely concrete 51-year-old Morandi Bridge and build a "less imposing" steel span.

"Today the government. has formally sent to Autostrade per l'Italia the letter of complaint which launches the process for revoking the concession", he said in a statement.

Castellucci declined to talk about the government's stance.

The Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport announced the creation of an inspection commission to carry out technical checks and analysis in an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

An imam has blessed the coffins of two Muslim faithful at the end of a Catholic Mass for those killed in the Italian bridge tragedy.

A woman wipes a small white coffin of a victim of a collapsed highway bridge prior to the start of Saturday's funeral service.

Italy mourned the victims of the collapse of a motorway bridge in the northern city of Genoa with a state funeral on Saturday, as rescue workers kept searching for the last few unaccounted people buried in the rubble. "The pain is deep", Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco said.

A State funeral service is held for the victims of the Morandi Bridge disaster at the Fiera di Genova exhibition centre on August 18, 2018 in Genoa, Italy. "The deep wound is caused above all by the enormous pain for those who lost their lives and for the missing, for their relatives, the wounded and the many left homeless".

The death toll has risen to 42, according to media reports.

Before the state funeral ceremony began in a pavilion on Genoa's fairgrounds, President Sergio Mattarella offered quiet words of comfort for families of the victims.

Serie A said that new dates for the matches had not yet been decided.

Four more bodies were discovered in the rubble by rescuers on Saturday, bringing the total dead to 43.

Ilaria Caprioglio, the mayor of the nearby town of Savona, said: "Now it is the time of grief... but we must think about the conditions of the roads of our region and the security of our infrastructure because these victims can not be followed by others".

Some coffins have already been placed in a large hall for the state funeral, and family members visited them on Friday.

The collapse of the bridge has led to controversy over the nation's infrastructure, as some blame the state for the bridge's poor design and maintenance.

The funerals coincided with a national day of mourning. But Italian authorities have said they don't know exactly how many cars were on the collapsed section of the bridge or the number of people that were in them.

A few hours earlier, the bodies of an Italian couple and their 9-year-old daughter were found in their smashed auto under a big block of concrete, part of tons of material that crashed 150 feet to the ground and nearby areas when the heavily trafficked major highway span gave way. It said they were three family members, including a child, who had been traveling for a vacation when their auto, with about 30 other vehicles, plunged when the bridge gave way.

Fire in Italian bridge rubble hampers recovery efforts