Italy declares state of Emergency after bridge collapse

Italy, Aug 16 : Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has declared a 12-month state of emergency as rescuers are continuing the search for survivors among towering slabs of concrete wreckage in Genoa, as the death toll from the bridge collapse rose to 39.

Wednesday was supposed to be a day of celebration for many Italians, a public holiday marking the day when Catholics believe Mary ascended to heaven after her life on Earth, but the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa, a port city in northwest Italy, killed 39 people

Flags on Genoa’s municipal buildings flew at half-staff and Pope Francis, speaking 300 miles away at the Vatican, offered his prayers for the victims.

The Italian group Atlantia, which operates half of the country’s motorways, is under fire following the collapse of a massive section of the bridge on Tuesday.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte took aim at Autostrade per l’Italia and said that the  firm had been responsible for ensuring safety on the bridge and that the government would not wait for the outcome of a current criminal investigation into the disaster before taking action.

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