Heavy equipment brought in to move rubble from Genoa bridge collapse

Excavators have begun clearing large sections of the collapsed highway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa in the search for people still missing three days after the deadly accident.

The search entered a new phase on Friday as heavy equipment removed a large vertical section, clearing a new area to probe.

Rescuers have been tunnelling through tons of steel, concrete and crushed vehicles that plunged 45 metres when the bridge suddenly fell during a downpour on Tuesday.

A digger removes debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa (Luca Zennaro/ANSA/AP)

Officials say 39 people are confirmed killed and 15 injured. They say that 10 to 20 people might be unaccounted-for and the death toll is expected to rise.

The first funerals are being held later, ahead of a state funeral in Genoa on Saturday to be celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

- Press Association

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