GENOA, Italy — As more bodies were pulled Wednesday from a mountain of jagged concrete and twisted steel left by a highway bridge collapse that killed 39, prosecutors focused on possible design flaws and past maintenance of the heavily used span, and politicians squabbled over blame.
Motorists, meanwhile, recounted miraculous escapes and the horror of seeing others plunge over the edge.
As a second night descended on the site where part of the Morandi Bridge plunged some 45 meters (150 feet), Interior Minister Matteo Salvini declined to say how many people might still be buried in the debris where about 1,000 rescue workers searched for victims.
The collapse occurred about midday Tuesday, the eve of Italy’s biggest summer holiday, when traffic was particularly busy on the 51-year-old span that links two highways — one leading to France, the other to Milan — from this northwestern port city.
Salvini declined to say how many people are still missing, and he added that trying to locate them was particularly difficult, due to the holiday.
“It’s not easy to distinguish between who doesn’t respond because they are on the other side of the world and turned off their phone to relax” on vacation, and “who’s not responding because they are under the rubble,” he said.
He said he hoped the death toll would not rise.
“Miracles are still possible,” Salvini said.
Authorities urged the quick removal of tons of debris from a dry river bed so that the rubble doesn’t create a makeshift dam if heavy rains fall in the flood-prone city on the Mediterranean.
Debris also must be cleared from railroad tracks, a vital link especially now that Genoa is largely cut in half by the loss of such a key artery, Premier Giuseppe Conte said.
Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of the bridge, prompting a wider evacuation …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News