At least 22 people have been reported dead after Genoa Freeway bridge in Italy collapsed. A section of a towering highway bridge collapsed on Tuesday, sending cars plunging nearly 300 feet to the ground and killing at least 22 people, officials said.
Though the head of the local ambulance service said there were “dozens of dead”, however Maria Luisa Catalano of the highway police in Genoa said work was ongoing, adding, “we don’t know numbers of victims/injured yet.”
ABC News reported that a collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa occurred during strong storms moving through the area of northwest Italy, according to authorities. It was also gathered that at least 20 vehicles were on the bridge in a port section of the city when the span gave way, Amalia Tedeschi, a firefighter, told the Italian news agency ANSA. Tedeschi said two people were pulled from the rubble alive and taken to a hospital by helicopter.
Danilo Toninelli, Italy’s transport minister, described the collapse as “an enormous tragedy.” In one of the videos shared on social media, someone could be heard screaming “oh God!” and a flash could be seen as the concrete structure crumbled.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the bridge toppled after it was struck by lightning, and it happened on part of the viaduct on the A10 highway, the country’s national police, Polizia di Stato, said.
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) August 14, 2018
However Italian authorities said that at the time of the collapse, construction involving a crane was occurring on the bridge, but it was too early to pinpoint what caused the span to fail. The A10 highway, the main route between northern Italy and France, was closed in both directions as search-and-rescue teams searched for survivors of the horrific incident.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said about 200 firefighters were on scene searching for survivors. Part of the bridge fell on top of the Genoa Garbage Collection Depot, raising fears that the death toll will climb.