The Latest: Romanian Trucker Is Genoa Bridge’s 43rd Victim

Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-18 13:08:02-04

GENOA, Italy (AP) — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times local):

6:55 p.m.

A Genoa hospital says a Romanian truck driver who suffered severe cranial and chest injuries in the city’s bridge collapse has died.

The San Martino Hospital said Marian Rosca, 36, died Saturday evening. Doctors had described him as the most severely injured of the survivors of Tuesday’s collapse of the Morandi Bridge, a key artery in Genoa.

His death raises to 43 the number of people who died when the Morandi Bridge collapsed, sending its highway, bridge support tower and dozens of cars and trucks plunging 45 meters (150 feet) into a dry riverbed in the northern Italian port city.

Authorities say several other bridge survivors are still hospitalized.


5:50 p.m.

The Italian highway company in charge of the Genoa highway bridge that collapsed says it can build a new bridge in eight months.

Giovanni Castellucci, CEO of Autostrade per l’Italia, the company that manages and upkeeps Italian highways and bridges, told reporters Saturday it has a plan to demolish what’s left of the largely concrete 51-year-old Morandi Bridge and build a “less imposing” steel one.

Italy’s government has begun procedures to revoke the company’s concession and has vowed that Autostrade per l’Italia will never again run the nation’s roads.

Castellucci declined to talk about the government’s stance. He said even though the cause of Tuesday’s bridge collapse hasn’t been determined “we apologize” since “perceptions count.”

Prosecutors are focusing on possible design flaws or improper maintenance as an eventual cause for the disaster that killed 42 people.


1:25 p.m.

An imam has blessed the coffins of two Muslim faithful at the end of a Catholic Mass for those killed in the Italian bridge tragedy.

Families of the two Albanian victims decided to have their loved ones’ coffins join those of 17 Catholic dead at the state funeral celebrated Saturday by Genoa’s archbishop.

The imam drew applause when he prayed that God protect Italy and all Italians.

The death toll in Tuesday’s highway bridge collapse stands at 42, according to local media.

Several private funerals were held elsewhere, starting Friday.


12:50 p.m.

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.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said Francis offered words of comfort in a phone call Friday evening.

In his homily at the funeral Mass in a fairground pavilion, Bagnasco said Tuesday’s highway bridge collapse over a dry riverbed “gashed the heart of Genoa”. But he called for solidarity to build “new bridges to walk together” in a spiritual sense.

Bagnasco said the wound in Genoa’s heart is deep “due to the boundless sorrow for those who lost their life,” as well as the injured and the hundreds now homeless after nearby buildings were evacuated.

The death toll has risen to 42, according to media reports.


12:35 p.m.

Players and coaches of Genoa’s two main soccer teams are among those attending the state funeral for victims of the city’s bridge collapse.

Both the Sampdoria and Genoa teams had already announced they wouldn’t play their matches this weekend but at a later date.

Saturday is a day of national mourning. The funeral for 19 victims was held in a pavilion on the city’s fair grounds. The unofficial death toll in Tuesday’s collapse rose to 42 after four bodies were found in the rubble Saturday.


12:05 p.m.

Italy’s president has comforted families of many of the Genoa bridge collapse victims.

Before the service began, President Sergio Mattarella paused in silence before the coffins then spoke briefly with each group of families.

The unofficial death toll stands at 42 after the discovery of four bodies in the Morandi Bridge’s rubble Saturday by rescuers.

Also attending the service were Premier Giuseppe Conte and several Cabinet members, including Italy’s transportation and infrastructure minister.

Investigators are working to see if a design flaw or improper maintenance might have caused the collapse on Tuesday.

Saturday has been declared a day of national mourning.


10:50 a.m.

Italian state radio says the body of a 30-year-old man has been found in the Genoa bridge collapse, bringing the death toll to 42.

The report also said rescuers believe all those previously thought missing might now have been accounted for, after an elderly man called local authorities to say he was OK and not involved in Tuesday’s tragedy.

The local prefect’s office, which is issuing official numbers of the dead, said it didn’t immediately have information about the latest bodies found.


10 a.m.

Italian media say three more bodies have been found in rubble of the Genoa bridge collapse, raising the death toll to 41.

Genoa’s prefect’s office said it didn’t immediately have official confirmation of the reports by ANSA news agency and other Italian news media Saturday that the bodies were found by rescuers overnight.

ANSA said the bodies were found inside a car smashed under a huge block of concrete from the collapse on Tuesday. It said they were three family members, including a child, who had been traveling for a vacation when their car, with about 30 other vehicles, plunged when the bridge gave way.

Two other people are believed to be still missing as rescue work continues.