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At Least 26 Killed in Collapse of Italian Bridge

At Least 26 Killed in Collapse of Italian Bridge

Italian authorities are looking into what caused a major highway bridge to collapse Tuesday in Genoa, killing at least 26 people.

A large section of the Morandi Bridge fell during a violent storm Tuesday, apparently without warning, sending some cars plunging 45 meters.

Huge pieces of concrete and steel dropped onto warehouses in an industrial park under the bridge .Authorities said about 35 vehicles dropped when the bridge collapsed

Rescuers are working through the night, poking in the rubble and using dogs to help look for victims. A fire official said seven people were pulled out of the wreckage alive. According to authorities, all of the deaths involved drivers on the bridge and no one standing near it was killed.

Witnesses reported an "apocalyptic scene." In one heart-stopping image, a large truck stopped just short of the gap where part of the bridge is missing, its tires just centimeters from the deadlyprecipice.

The bridge connected two major highways between Italy and France. It was opened in 1967 and has made engineers uneasy in recent years because of what they said has been its gradual deterioration.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said Tuesday's disaster shows Italy has to spend more on its infrastructure, even if it means breaking EU budget rules.

"We should ask ourselves whether respecting these limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens. Obviously for me, it's not," he said.

The bridge underwent renovation in 2016, and more work was scheduled. ButSalvini also publicly demanded the names of those he said may be responsible for the disaster.

"They will have to pay — pay for everything, and pay a lot."

(VOA)

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