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Italy bridge: Dozens feared dead in Genoa as motorway collapses (Pictures and video)

Culled from BBC

A motorway bridge has collapsed in the northwest Italian city of Genoa, killing 26 people and badly injuring 15, police told the BBC.

Dramatic video footage captured the moment of the disaster when one of the huge supporting towers crashed down during torrential rain.

Cars and trucks plummeted 45m (148ft) on to rail tracks, buildings and a river along with slabs of concrete.

Searches for people trapped in rubble are expected to go into the night.

Fears that other parts of the bridge might fall have prompted the evacuation of buildings in the area, a rescuer told Italy's Ansa news agency.

Scroll down for video

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised that anyone found to be responsible for the bridge collapse would be held to account.

"I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times," he said. "Now, as an Italian citizen, I will do everything to get the names and surnames of the managers responsible, past and present, because it is unacceptable to die like that in Italy."

A representative of the motorway's operator, Autostrade, told Reuters news agency there had been "no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous".

Shares in Atlantia, Autostrade's parent company which runs much of the country's motorways, fell 6.3% after news of the collapse.

How did the structure collapse?

It fell around 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT) during heavy rain. Police reported a violent cloudburst.

"We saw lightning strike the bridge," eyewitness Pietro M all'Asa was quoted as saying by Ansa. "And we saw the bridge going down."

Engineers say it is too early to determine the cause of the collapse but that lightning is unlikely to be the reason.

How has the world reacted?

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a message of sympathy to the people of Italy, writing in both Italian and French. He said France was ready to offer any necessary aid.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker voiced his "deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, and to the Italian people".

My view: That's terrible, was the brigde protected from Lightening strikes?.

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