Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Fire in Italian bridge rubble hampers recovery efforts

Fire in Italian bridge rubble hampers recovery efforts

Gov. Giovanni Toti, the leader of the Liguria region which includes Genoa, told a news conference that a key part of the problem in calculating how many might be missing is that "we don't know how many cars, how many trucks were on the bridge at that moment" when it collapsed during a violent rainstorm.

Mr Capello was released from hospital on Thursday, two days after the collapse, with no major physical injuries.

Two government sources told Reuters that a threat to revoke Autostrade's nationwide concession could be unaffordable and that it might settle instead for a heavy fine.

Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, owns around 88 percent of Italy's biggest toll-road concessionary. Some architects have said the choice of encasing its cables in reinforced concrete was risky since it's harder to detect corrosion of the metal cables inside.

"The rupture of a cable stay is a serious working hypothesis", Brencich said.

Autostrade has said it monitored the bridge on a quarterly basis, as required by law, and carried out additional checks by hiring external experts.

On Friday Italian newspapers said market watchdog Consob had contacted the government to warn there were procedures that needed to be followed when making comments about a listed company.

Civil protection department officials said Friday there might only be five people missing, but the exact number was fluctuating.

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Vehicles on the highway that links Genoa to the French border west of the Mediterranean port city plummeted 50 metres (165 feet) when a 200-metre (660-foot) stretch of the viaduct collapsed. He then called his girlfriend and his father, a retired firefighter, who told him to get out of the vehicle immediately for fear the auto would destabilize or something heavy would fall on top of it.

"We are trying to find points where we can penetrate this incredibly heavy rubble. Then the earth-moving equipment moves in to create an opening from where the dogs enter", said Zanut, one of some 340 firefighters working shifts at the scene since Tuesday.

Firefighters lifting away the rubble said they had not given up hope of finding someone alive three days after the collapse.

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

The event will be led by the city's archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, and attended by President Sergio Mattarella and Conte. One white coffin held the body of seven-year-old Samuele Robbiano, who died alongside his parents.

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Some families said they will boycott a state funeral that is due to be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, as a protest against what they said was negligence that caused the bridge to collapse.

Anger and sadness erupted at the funeral on Friday for four men in their 20s, all friends from the Naples seaside suburb of Torre del Greco, whose lives were snuffed out as they drove over the bridge heading to a vacation in Spain.

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