Death toll in Italy bridge collapse rises to 41

August 18, 2018 02:49 PM

Punjab News Express
ROME: The death toll in a bridge collapse in the Italian city of Genoa climbed to 41 even as preparations were underway for a state funeral for all the victims on Saturday.

The toll was raised after rescuers found a vehicle with the bodies of another three people -- a couple and their 9-year-old child -- from the rubble, Efe news reported.

Thirty eight victims have been identified so far, including three children. Two people were still missing, according to the Civil Protection Department.

Saturday's funeral would be officiated by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, and attended by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Some families were reportedly staying away from the funeral ceremony because of anger at the government, according to the BBC. They will be holding private burials elsewhere in Italy.

"Many do not want to take part in a showcase and I understand them," Father Mauro Brezzo, chaplain of Genoa's San Martino hospital, told the Italian media.

The collapse of a section of the Morandi motorway bridge and the deaths of those crossing in vehicles led to a fierce debate in Italy about the nation's infrastructure.

The government has set up a commission to examine the causes of the disaster and one member speculated that a broken cable rod was "a serious work hypothesis", the BBC said.

Antonio Brencich, a University of Genoa lecturer, said there were "eyewitness accounts and videos that go in this direction". The bridge, which was constructed in the 1960s, has cables running directly from the deck to the top of the towers.


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