Latest: Dozens killed after 'immense tragedy' of bridge collapse in Genoa

Latest: Italy’s Prime Minister says 26 people have been killed and 16 injured after a bridge collapsed in Genoa.

Earlier, Italian media outlets had reported that 35 people had been killed.

Giuseppe Conte travelled to the site of the disaster this evening in the port city, calling it an “immense tragedy”.

He told RAI state television “it is shocking to see the twisted metal and the bridge collapsed with victims who were extracted”.

Mr Conte also praised the hundreds of rescue workers still at the site, saying “they saved people who fell 45 metres and are now alive and in the hospital”.

A truck stopped right at the edge of the area where the Morandi bridge collapsed (Vigili Del Fuoco/AP)

He added that the death toll is expected to rise further.

A huge section of the Morandi Bridge fell at midday over an industrial zone, sending tonnes of twisted steel and concrete onto warehouses below. Photos from the Italian news agency ANSA showed a massive gap between two sections of the bridge.

The head of Italy’s civil protection agency, Angelo Borrelli, said up to 35 cars and at least three trucks were on the 80-metre section of the span that collapsed.

Rescuers work in the debris (AP)

Hundreds of firefighters and emergency officials were searching for survivors in the rubble with heavy equipment. At least four people were pulled alive from vehicles under the bridge, ANSA reported.

Video of the collapse captured a man screaming: “Oh, God! Oh, God!”

Other images showed a green truck that had stopped on the bridge just short of the edge and the tyres of a tractor trailer in the rubble.

The bridge would have been busy with holiday traffic on the eve of a major festival (AP)

One man who was standing under the bridge in front of his truck when the bridge collapsed called it “a miracle” that he survived. The middle-aged man, who did not give his name, said the shockwave sent him flying over 10 metres into a wall, injuring his right shoulder and hip.

“I was in front of the truck and flew away, like everything else. Yes, I think it’s a miracle. I don’t know what to say. I’m out of words,” he said, walking away from the site.

The disaster occurred on a motorway that connects Italy to France, and northern cities like Milan to the beaches of Liguria. The Morandi Bridge connects the A10 highway that goes toward the French Riviera and the A7 highway that continues north toward Milan. Inaugurated in 1967, it is just over 6 miles long.

Several people were injured in the disaster (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron offered his country’s help in a phone call with Mr Conte.

It was the second deadly disaster on an Italian highway in as many weeks.

On August 6, a tanker truck carrying a highly flammable gas exploded after rear-ending a stopped truck and getting hit from behind near the northern city of Bologna.

The accident killed one person, injured dozens and blew apart a section of a raised eight-lane highw

Update 6.35pm At least 35 people have been killed after a bridge on a main road linking Italy with France collapsed in Genoa during a storm, emergency services say.

A huge section of the Morandi Bridge collapsed over an industrial zone in the north-west Italian port city, sending tonnes of twisted steel and concrete debris onto warehouses below.

Update 2.20pm: 22 dead after bridge collapses in Genoa during storm

At least 22 people have died and eight others were injured after a bridge on a main road linking Italy with France collapsed during a storm in Genoa.

Around 20 vehicles plunged nearly 150ft into a heap of rubble after a huge section of the Morandi Bridge collapsed over an industrial zone in the port city, sending tonnes of twisted steel and concrete debris onto warehouses below.

Firefighter Amalia Tedeschi told RAI state TV that some 20 vehicles, including cars and trucks, were caught up after a stretch of the bridge measuring around 260ft fell.

She said two people had been pulled alive from vehicles in the rubble and transported to hospital by helicopter.

Edoardo Rixi, a transport official, told Sky TV that 22 people were dead and eight others were hurt.

Video captured the sound of a man screaming: “Oh God! Oh, God!” Other images showed a green truck which stopped just short of the gaping hole in the bridge, and the tyres of a tractor among the rubble.

A truck stopped right at the edge of the area where the Morandi bridge collapsed (Vigili Del Fuoco/AP)

Firefighters said they were worried about gas pipes exploding in the area as a result of the collapse.

The ANSA news agency said authorities suspected a structural weakness had caused the collapse, although there was no immediate explanation for what had happened.

Italy’s transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, called the collapse “an enormous tragedy”.

Rescuers work in the debris (AP)

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will travel to Genoa later.

Interior minister Matteo Salvini said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident.

He said on Twitter: “We are following minute by minute the situation of the bridge collapse in Genoa.”

The disaster occurred on a major road that connects Italy to France, and links northern cities like Milan to the beaches of Liguria.

It came on the eve of a major Italian summer holiday called Ferragosto, which marks the religious feast of the Assumption of Mary.

The bridge would have been busy with holiday traffic on the eve of a major festival (AP)

The day marks the high point of the Italian summer holiday season when most cities and businesses are closed and Italians head to the beaches or the mountains, which meant traffic was heavier than usual on the Genoa highway.

The Morandi Bridge is a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 highway that heads for France and the A7 route that continues north towards Milan. Inaugurated in 1967, it is 148ft high, and around half a mile long.

The collapse of the bridge comes eight days after another major accident on an Italian highway, near the northern city of Bologna.

In that case, a tanker truck carrying a highly flammable gas exploded after rear-ending a stopped truck on the road before it was hit from behind itself. The accident killed one person, injured dozens and blew apart a section of a raised eight-lane highway.

- Press Association

Earlier: ‘At least 11 killed’ after bridge collapses in Genoa during storm

Update 2pm: At least 11 people are reported to have been killed after a bridge collapsed in the north-western Italian city of Genoa during a storm, sending around 20 vehicles plunging 260ft into a heap of rubble below.

A firefighters’ spokeswoman said two people had been pulled alive from the rubble from the Morandi Bridge after a section collapsed onto an industrial area below.

Rescuers work in the debris (AP)

The disaster occurred on a major road that connects Italy to France and other resorts on the eve of Ferragosto, a major Italian holiday. Traffic would have been heavier than usual as many people travelled to beaches or mountains.

Transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, called the collapse “an enormous tragedy”.

Broadcaster Sky TG24 said the section of the bridge collapsed over an industrial zone. Firefighters have also raised concerns about gas lines.

A truck stopped right at the edge of the area where the Morandi bridge collapsed (Vigili Del Fuoco/AP)

Photos published by the ANSA news agency on its website showed a huge gulf between two sections of the bridge.

Video captured the sound of a man screaming: “Oh god, oh, god.” Other images showed a green truck that had stopped just yards short of the gaping hole in the bridge.

Interior minister Matteo Salvini said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident.

He said on Twitter: “We are following minute by minute the situation for the bridge collapse in Genoa.”

One person was said to have been pulled alive from the rubble (AP)

The Morandi Bridge was inaugurated in 1967. It is 295ft high and just over three-quarters of a mile long, with the longest section between supports measuring 650ft.

The bridge is a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 highway heading towards France and the A7 highway that continues north towards Milan.

ANSA said authorities believe a structural weakness caused the collapse.

- Press Association

Earlier: Road bridge collapses in northern Italy

Update 12.33pm: A bridge over an industrial area in the Italian city of Genova has partially collapsed during a storm, leaving vehicles crushed in the rubble below.

There have been reports of fatalities after a 650ft section of the Morandi Bridge fell in the north-western city, as well as claims that one person had been pulled alive from the rubble.

Maria Luisa Catalano, a police official in Genoa, said authorities are still involved in rescue efforts and do not yet know the number of victims.

The bridge would have been busy with holiday traffic (ANSA/AP)

The disaster occurred on a highway that connects Italy to France and other resorts on the eve of Ferragosto, a major Italian holiday, and traffic would have been heavier than usual as many people travelled to beaches or mountains.

Transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, called the collapse “an enormous tragedy”.

Broadcaster Sky TG24 said the section of the bridge collapsed over an industrial zone. Firefighters have raised concerns about gas lines.

A truck stopped right at the edge of the area where the Morandi bridge collapsed (Vigili Del Fuoco/AP)

Photos published by the ANSA news agency on its website showed a huge gulf between two sections of the bridge.

Video captured the sound of a man screaming: “Oh god, oh, god.” Other images showed a green truck that had stopped just yards short of the gaping hole in the bridge.

Interior minister Matteo Salvini said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident.

He said on Twitter: “We are following minute by minute the situation for the bridge collapse in Genoa.”

One person was said to have been pulled alive from the rubble (AP)

The Morandi Bridge was inaugurated in 1967. It is 295ft high and just over three-quarters of a mile long, with the longest section between supports measuring 650ft.

The bridge is a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 highway heading towards France and the A7 highway that continues north towards Milan.

ANSA said authorities believe a structural weakness caused the collapse.

- Press Association

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