Italy ends search for Genoa bridge victims, mulls infrastructure plan

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Rescue workers in Genoa, Italy at the scene of the bridge wreckage

Italy has slammed the curtains on the search for those missing after a motorway bridge collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa on Tuesday as it also mulled plans to launch an infrastructure plan in September.

The decision to end the search came after three more bodies were recovered overnight bringing the official death toll to 43.

A 200-metre section of the Morandi bridge gave way in busy traffic on Tuesday, plunging vehicles and chunks of concrete and twisted metal to the ground 50 meters (165 feet) below.

After three bodies were recovered from a car crushed under slabs of concrete, the Genoa prefecture raised its official death toll. Nine people are still in hospital, four in a critical condition, it said.

While all those listed as missing had now been accounted for, a fire brigade official Stefano Zanut told Sky TG24: “Our work continues in order to have the full certainty that nobody has been left under the rubble.”

He said workers were also making the site secure and helping investigations to establish the cause of the disaster.

The viaduct was part of the A10 motorway linking the port city with the French border to the west and was managed by toll-road operator Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia (ATL.MI).

Autostrade pledged half a billion euros on Saturday to rebuild the bridge and set up funds to immediately assist the families of the victims and those displaced from their homes by the collapse and reconstruction work.

The government, a coalition between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the League, has started a procedure aimed at revoking concessions held by Autostrade to operate toll highways after the Genoa bridge collapse.

The government said it will launch a plan in September aimed at making Italy’s infrastructure safe, a government official said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

Giancarlo Giorgetti, undersecretary in the prime minister’s office and a leading member of the League party, said the plan would include motorways, bridges and viaducts but also public buildings such as schools.

“It will be a maintenance operation with no precedents, with enormous investment in public works,” he said in an interview with Il Messaggero.

He did not specify the cost of the plan but said “deficit, GDP or European rules do not exist”.

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