Updated | Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, dozens left dead

Some 440 people have been forced to evacuated their homes following the bridge's collapse. 37 bodies have been discovered thus far

The shattered bridge spanned a stream in which much of the rubble fell  (Photo: BBC)
The shattered bridge spanned a stream in which much of the rubble fell (Photo: BBC)

Updated with death toll

The death toll resulting from the collapse of a major bridge in the northern Italian city of Genoa has risen to 37.

Vehicles fell some 100 metres when a section of the Morandi bridge, built in the 1960s, collapsed on Tuesday.

The missing section was around 60m long and ran across the span of the Polcevera stream.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of confirmed deaths stood at 37. including 5 unidentified individuals, and three children.

The number of injured people stands at 16, 12 of whom are in critical condition. Thirty-five cars and three heavy vehicles are under the bridge, Italian Civil Protection said.

Some 440 people have been evacuated from the area since there is a risk that other parts of the bridge could collapse.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as well as his two deputies, Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli and Home Affairs minister Matteo Salvini are currently in Genoa.

Toninelli described the collapse as "an immense tragedy" while stressing that, if negligence played a role in the bridge's collapse, those responsible would have to pay.

The structure collapsed shortly before noon local time during heavy rain. Video shared by the police of the incident suggests a major vertical support, as well as the road itself, was part of the collapse.

 Among the victims were families believed to be going on holiday. Their suitcases were found in the rubble.

A fire service spokesperson told Agence France-Presse that the bridge had mostly fallen on rail tracks 100 metres below and that “cars and trucks” had fallen with the rubble.

Photographs from the scene show huge sections of rubble on the ground underneath the middle of the bridge.

Italian media house RAI reported that there were some 200 firefighters arrived on the scene instantly and that at least two people had been pulled alive from the rubble.

No Maltese casualty, Ministry confirms 

The Maltese Ministry for Foreign Affairs said that so far, there are no reports of any Maltese casualties.

The Ministry is closely said it is following developments on this case, through its Malta Embassy in Rome, Italy. The Embassy called all Maltese registered with them, living in the area and the Maltese transport agencies to see if they have any drivers who may be in the area and are unaccounted for, or in need of assistance.

The Ministry informed the public that the Embassy of Malta in Rome is ready to offer any help to Maltese nationals.

Minister vows to identify people responsible

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters: "Unfortunately there are around 30 dead and many injured in a serious condition."

The 45-year-old, who is also the leader of the nationalist League that governs with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, said that he was going to find out who was responsible for the tragedy.

"I have gone over this bridge hundreds of times, and I will do everything I can to have the names of those responsible, past and present. It is unacceptable to die like that in Italy," he said.

He also said that Italy needs to make massive investments in its infrastructure, much of which is dilapidated

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