Italian bridge company under fire as rescuers toil for third day

Italian bridge company under fire as rescuers toil for third day

Rescue workers have searched through tonnes of concrete and steel from the collapsed Genoa highway bridge for a fourth day as Italians prepared to bury the 38 victims of a disaster that has angered the public and rattled industry.

Serie A has postponed two of this weekend's opening Serie A fixtures involving Genovese clubs Genoa and Sampdoria following the bridge collapse that killed at least 39 people in the Ligurian city on Tuesday. The collapse has prompted fears over other ageing infrastructure in Italy and overseas, with Bulgaria announcing Thursday a plan to renovate more than 200 bridges while France has said one in three of national road bridges are in need of fix.

One survivor, whose auto plunged from the bridge to the bottom along with falling sections of highway, told the Associated Press how as a trained firefighter he immediately understood that the structure had collapsed when the road dropped out from under him.

"We are working in synchronisation with earth moving equipment and sniffer dogs", Mr Zanut said.

"We are trying to find pockets in the rubble where people could be - alive or not", fire official Emanuele Gissi told Agence France-Presse.

Capello was at the midpoint of the bridge, he recounted Friday, when "everything, the world, came down".

A state funeral for most of the victims is due to be held on Saturday morning, led by Genoa's archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, and attended by President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Coffins containing bodies of victims of the Genoa bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy, on August 17, 2018.

"I heard a noise, a boring noise", he said. "I can't see them investing any resources into a new bidding process".

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"The auto protected me".

His vehicle plunged nose first, then stopped with a crash, air bags releasing all around him. Outside, he said, "there was an unreal silence" - destroyed vehicles and piles of broken concrete and asphalt, but no signs of life, no cries for help.

Meanwhile, Italy's Ministry for Transport said late on Thursday that it would give road operator Autostrade per l'Italia - responsible for maintaining the motorway - 15 days to prove it had taken all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the bridge.

Bankers and analysts said Atlantia was less likely to bid for major projects overseas given the threat of punitive government measures against its Autostrade unit.

It has also called on the company to take full responsibility and foot the bill for the rebuilding of the bridge, which should be carried out within a limited time frame.

As the cleanup crews went about their work, authorities were anxious about the stability large remaining sections of the bridge, prompting a wider evacuation order and forcing about 630 people from nearby apartments, some practically in the shadow of the elevated highway.

Emergency workers also want to quickly remove the tons of debris that fell into the dry riverbed under the bridge so it did not create a dam that could flood the rest of the city if heavy rains returned.

Debris also must be cleared from railroad tracks, a vital link especially now Genoa is largely cut in half by the loss of a key artery.

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