A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed Tuesday in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 45 metres (nearly 150 feet) into a heap of rubble below. Italian officials said at least 20 people were killed and others injured.
A huge section of the Morandi Bridge collapsed at mid-day over an industrial zone, sending tons of twisted steel and concrete debris onto warehouses below. Photos published by the Italian news agency ANSA showed a massive, empty gulf between two sections of the bridge.
There was initial confusion over the exact death toll and officials were still searching for people in the rubble. Firefighters said two people were pulled alive from vehicles in the rubble and transported by helicopter to a hospital.
The head of Italy’s civil protection agency, Angelo Borrelli, told reporters at a news conference in Rome that the collapse left 20 people dead and 13 injured. He said all the victims appeared to all have been in vehicles that plunged from the bridge.
Earlier, an Italian transport official, Edoardo Rixi, had said that 22 people were killed and 13 injured in the collapse.