Italian highway bridge collapses in Genoa, leaving more than 20 dead

A major four-lane highway bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa collapsed Tuesday, leaving at least 22 people dead and bringing Italy’s decaying infrastructure into the spotlight.

Television footage showed rescue workers carrying people on stretchers to waiting helicopters. First responders used ropes to flip over cars that had fallen into a riverbed below the bridge and covered the vehicles with white sheets. Mangled trucks and cars littered the riverbed.

Autostrade per l’Italia, which runs the highway where the bridge collapsed, said work had been in progress to improve the bridge’s foundations. The bridge was under “constant” monitoring, the company said.

The death toll from the event, in which at least 20 cars were involved, is destined to rise, said Edorardo Rixi, an undersecretary for the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

The bridge, which was inaugurated in 1966 and was referred to by locals as “Genoa’s Brooklyn Bridge” because of its semblance to the span in New York.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli called the event an “enormous tragedy” on Twitter and said he was on his way to Genoa.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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