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Up to 20 still missing in Italy bridge collapse

/ 06:33 PM August 16, 2018

A night view of the collapsed Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy on Aug. 15, 2018. AP

MILAN — Genoa’s chief prosecutor says there could be as many as 20 people missing in the rubble of the collapsed highway bridge in the city, in addition to the 39 already confirmed dead.

Searchers have been combing through tons of concrete and other debris since the collapse on Tuesday. Until Thursday, authorities hadn’t said how many people might be unaccounted-for. Chief Prosecutor Francesco Cozzi told reporters Thursday that “there could be 10 to 20 persons still missing.”

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Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has said it has been difficult to come up with an exact number as some of those reported missing by loved ones might actually be vacationers who reached their destination but haven’t contacted family or friends in recent days.

Italian rescue workers are toiling for a third day in hopes of finding survivors trapped under the rubble of the collapsed highway bridge in Genoa.

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Genoa Firefighters’ spokeswoman Sonia Noci said Thursday that the search and rescue operations will continue until all those people listed as missing are found.

At least 39 people were killed in Tuesday’s collapse, but the exact number of those still missing remains unknown.

Local officials say they are taking data from people whose friends or relatives are missing, but that they do not yet know how many cars were on the bridge when it collapsed and cannot extrapolate how many people might be buried in the rubble.

The Italian Cabinet has approved a 12-month state of emergency and officials have announced plans for a state funeral for the victims to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Genoa. The ceremony will be presided over by Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco.

The holding company for Autostrade per l’Italia was facing a volatile trading day after the government announced it would take steps to revoke the concession following the deadly bridge collapse in Genoa.

Shares in Atlantia were so volatile in opening Milan trading Thursday that they were not able to get a fixed price. The news agency ANSA said the theoretical drop was 21.4 percent, from Tuesday’s close of 23.54 euros ($26.66). Under stock market rules, trading is suspended if the shares gain or drop more than 10 percent in value.

Atlantia, which is owned by the Benetton fashion company, said in a statement before opening that revoking the concession required certain findings, including specific fault by the company and a determination of the cause of the collapse. /ee

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TAGS: Genoa bridge collapse, International news, Italy
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