Italy declares state of emergency after Genoa bridge collapse

17 August, 2018, 15:24 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Davide Capello became a firefighter after retiring from professional football

Atlantia shares fell by as much as 25 per cent at one point after being indicated down in pre-open trade by as much as 50 per cent. Shares were later down around 22 per cent. The Italian and European Union flags will fly at half-staff on municipal buildings on Wednesday and Thursday, and residents are invited to express their condolences and support for the victims and their families, the mayor's office said.

The company failed to start trading on Thursday after falling 20 percent in pre-market trading.

The disaster, on a major interchange connecting Genoa and other northern cities with beaches in eastern Liguria into France, has focused attention on Italy's ageing infrastructure, particularly its concrete bridges and viaducts built in the postwar boom of the 1950s and 1960s.

Autostrade per l'Italia, part of the Milan-listed Atlantia group, said it complied with all its maintenance requirements and made regular safety checks on the bridge. Company shares shed 5.4 percent in the last trading day Tuesday, burning 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) in capital.

The motorway operator said work to shore up the bridge's foundation was being carried out at the time of the collapse, during which time it was being constantly monitored.

Mehdi Kashani, an associate professor in structural mechanics at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, said pressure from "dynamic loads", such as heavy traffic or wind, could have resulted in "fatigue damage" in the bridge's parts.

An Italian professor who described the Genoa bridge which collapsed and killed 39 people on Tuesday as a "failure of engineering" has blamed the architect for the tragedy, saying he had wrongly calculated what would happen over time.

"Then all of a sudden all of the reverse lights came on".

"When a auto overtook me I slowed down ..." "I can't see them investing any resources into a new bidding process". "What this has done I think is act as a bit of a lightning rod for investors".

Capello told BFM that he survived with only minor injuries because his vehicle fell between concrete blocks that formed a sort of protection from further damage.

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The 50-year-old Morandi bridge had always been due for an upgrade, Italian authorities said.

They tried to reverse the auto, then "opened our doors, took our son out of his vehicle seat and then left running until the tunnel".

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) faced scrutiny Wednesday because in 2013 its Genoa activists had opposed a planned road bypass.

He added that he hoped the number still buried will be small, adding "miracles are still possible". He declined to say on Thursday how many people are feared missing.

The bridge collapse, which happened during the height of Italy's summer travel season, caused trucks and cars to plummet more than 150 feet.Autostrade per l'Italia said that maintenance work had been ongoing, but experts said that the risks of reinforced concrete infrastructure can increase after several decades.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says his government won't wait until prosecutors finish investigating the deadly Genoa bridge collapse to yank the concession from the main private company that maintains Italy's highways.

But the government has turned on Autostrade for the disaster, threatening it with heavy fines and demanding it contributes to the bridge's reconstruction, though investigators have yet to identify the exact cause of the collapse.

"This is a tragedy that is unacceptable in a modern society, and this government will do everything in its power to prevent anything of this kind from reoccurring".

"There can not be such slaughter without guilt", said Matteo Salvini, minister of the interior, one of two deputy prime ministers and the most powerful politician in the country.

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