Genoa search operation ends, bridge death toll rises to 43

Genoa bridge collapse

Genoa bridge collapse

As the city honored its dead, the toll from the August 14 bridge collapse rose unofficially August 18 to 43 with the discovery of four more bodies in the rubble and the death in the hospital of the most severely injured survivor.

A family of three - two parents and their nine-year-old daughter - were found overnight in their Hyundai vehicle which had been crushed by a concrete block, the ANSA news agency reported.

The bodies of a couple and their nine-year-old daughter were pulled from the twisted rubble of the collapsed Genoa bridge, officially drawing a line under the search and rescue mission.

Officials put the official death toll at 43, after the remains of Italian-Jamaican family of three - including their nine-year-old daughter - were retrieved from their vehicle.

A Genoa court will try to establish the exact cause of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge on a highway that links Genoa to the French border west of the Mediterranean port city.

Italy's president has comforted families of numerous Genoa bridge collapse victims.

His voice shaking with anger, Mr Battiloro said his son was the "victim of a cruel fate, but also of whoever didn't think that on that bridge could be the children of those who are despairing today".

"If we've put up 5 million euros, they should offer 500 million", he told reporters.

She said government officials should not have been seen at the victims' funerals.

Rome has blamed the collapse on Autostrade per l'Italia, which manages nearly half of the country's motorway network including the stricken A10 road.

Serie A has postponed AC Milan's meeting with Genoa and Sampdoria's hosting of Fiorentina in the wake of the Morandi bridge collapse.

Genoa's archbishop has told mourners at a state funeral for victims of the city's bridge collapse that Pope Francis is praying for the dead and those suffering.

The Italian government is blaming private motorway operator Autostrade per l'Italia for the disaster, while the company, whose leading shareholder is the fashion label family Benetton, denies any negligence.

Genoa's chief prosecutor has said that between 10 and 20 people could still be missing under the huge piles of concrete.

The government will launch a plan next month aimed at making Italy's infrastructure safe, Giancarlo Giorgetti, undersecretary in the prime minister's office, said in a newspaper interview, saying it would include motorways, bridges and viaducts but also public buildings such as schools. He said even though the cause of Tuesday's bridge collapse hasn't been determined "we apologize" since "perceptions count".

The collapse has prompted fears over other aging infrastructure in Italy and overseas.

Atlantia, the holding company that controls Autostrade per l'Italia, had no immediate comment.The government is demanding that the company rebuild the bridge at its own expense and within a set period of time.

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