Chilling images show Genoa bridge crumbling weeks before collapse that killed 39

A shocking image of the Genoa toll bridge taken just weeks before its collapse shows just why locals claim to have been calling it a "tragedy waiting to happen".

The disaster that killed 39 people yesterday is today being claimed to have been thoroughly preventable after a photograph emerged of the the 50-year-old bridge in a state of disaray.

The 260ft section of the bridge came crashing down yesterday during a thunderstorm, falling 150ft onto buildings, a riverbed and train tracks.

In the photograph taken just weeks ago, cables hung loosely and it appears the middle was buckling under the weight, which has left experts dumbfounded and shocked at why the issue was not addressed sooner.

Ingegneri.info reported that there had always been "structural doubts" about the bridge, while engineering professor Antonio Brencich said it needed constant maintenance.


He told Italian radio: "It was affected by extremely serious corrosion problems linked to the technology that was used (during construction)."

Dave Parker, from New Civil Engineer, today told Radio 4’s Today: "The mafia had a very big finger in the pie of the concrete industry back then, charging full price and putting less cement in."

And Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that "mafia-related companies are known to have infiltrated the Italian cement and reconstruction industries over the decades, and prosecutors have accused them of doing shoddy work that cannot withstand high stress".

The busy toll motorway linked Genoa with France is thought to have been made by Mafia-developed cement dating back half a century. Dave Parker, from New Civil Engineer, told Radio 4 that they would charge full price but put less cement in.



Backing this up, Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that "mafia-related companies are known to have infiltrated the Italian cement and reconstruction industries over the decades and prosecutors have accused them of doing shoddy work that cannot withstand high stress".

Fire Brigade spokesperson, Luca Cari said 400 firefighters were still at the site, lifting large slabs of concrete to create spaces for rescue teams to search for survivors.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini made a statement just hours after the devastating collapse saying that the country needed spend more on its run-down infrastructure, ignoring EU budget constraints if neccessary.


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Genoa bridge collapse

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He pointed the finger at the private sector manager of the bridge, Italian motorway firm Autostrade, who had earned "billions" from the toll but "didn’t spend the money they were supposed to". Salvani also stated that its concession should be revoked.

He said: "Imposing the highest penalties possible and making sure that those responsible for the dead and the injured pay up for any damages and crimes is the very least."

The BBC have reported that Italian prosecutors have now opened up an investigation into possible negligent homicide charges.

Italy’s transport minister said on Wednesday he had begun a process to strip Autostrade of its concession and he demanded its top managers resign.

Danilo Toninelli told RAI 1 state TV: "Autostrade per l’Italia was not able to fulfill its obligations under the contract regulating management of this infrastructure."

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