Bridge explodes in Italy


An explosion, on Friday, wiped out the remains of a collapsed bridge in the northern Italian city of Genoa.

The ageing bridge saw one of the worst tragedies in modern Italian history when it gave way last year, killing 43 people.

Explosives tore down two towers of the Morandi bridge as cannons shot water over the 20,000 cubic metres of steel and concrete to prevent huge clouds of dust engulfing the city.

A 656ft (200m) stretch of the bridge collapsed on August 14 in heavy rain, sending dozens of vehicles plunging 164ft (50m) to the ground below.

Only 14 people survived the collapse while 43 people died in the tragedy, including eight-year-old Samuele Robbiano, the youngest victim.

The collapse of the A10 motorway viaduct has made access to Genoa’s busy port more difficult and has also meant a lengthy detour for drivers wanting to head onwards to southern France, now it is being demolished to make way for new infrastructure.

Demolition of the two support structures that remained after the collapse was called for by officials investigating the incident after the bridge appeared to lean on neighbouring property for support.

The government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League wants its rapid reconstruction, hoping to signal a departure from the corruption and inefficiency that have often plagued Italian infrastructure projects.

5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio and League chief Matteo Salvini, both deputy prime ministers, attended the demolition after Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli laid the first stone of the new viaduct earlier this week, Daily Mail reports.

‘Today not only the old bridge comes down, but the new one starts coming up,’ Salvini said.

The reconstruction was assigned to Italian firms Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri. Designed by the renowned Genoa-born architect Renzo Piano, the new viaduct is planned to be inaugurated by the middle of next year.

It remains unclear whether the government will keep its promise to revoke the concession of toll road operator Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia which was in charge of the bridge’s maintenance.

Rome has accused the operator of serious failings in its upkeep of the bridge. Autostrade has denied wrongdoing, saying regular, state-supervised inspections had indicated the ageing viaduct was safe.

A trial to determine culpability has not yet been scheduled however an investigation remains underway.

The revocation procedure started a few days after the bridge collapsed, but the coalition part