EU leaders express condolences to Italy over bridge collapse

Rescuers and security forces watch as a recovered body in evacuated at the site where the Morandi motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa on August 14, 2018. At least 30 people were killed on August 14 when the giant motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa in northwestern Italy. The collapse of the viaduct, which saw a vast stretch of the A10 freeway tumble on to railway lines in the northern port city, was the deadliest bridge failure in Italy for years, and the country's deputy transport minister warned the death toll could climb further. / AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHE



BRUSSELS: The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council Tuesday expressed their condolences over loss of precious lives in a bridge collapse tragedy.

In a statement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was “deeply saddened.” “On behalf of the European Commission, I express my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, and to the Italian people,” he said. “My best wishes of strength and courage go to all those involved in the rescue operations.”

European Council President Donald Tusk also tweeted: “My heart and thoughts are in #Genoa with all the victims, their families and loved ones.” At least 20 people died in the collapse of a major motorway bridge in the northwest Italian city of Genoa on Tuesday, according to civil protection officials.

But some local media reports, citing the deputy minister for infrastructure and transport, put the death toll in the collapse at 22. The incident concerned a viaduct called “Morandi Bridge” connecting the highway A10 to the western part of the city, near a populous neighborhood called Sampierdarena.

Built in the 1960s, the Morandi Bridge is a major connection for the port city of Genoa. The collapse affected a bridge portion of about 100 meters, and might be due to a structural failure, Ansa news agency reported citing civil protection and firefighter sources.