Oh dear, "Disatro a Genova" Bridge collapse on a motorway bridge. Fumobici may not be up yet, but anyone who has been through the area knows how many people there are on that stretch ... Moreover, tomorrow is Ferragosto, a huge holiday when people escape cities to the mountains, beaches etc.
A friend who loves Genova as much as I do sent me a report about the bridge. A tragic situation obviously. I rode under that bridge where it collapsed on the train to Milan, there are a lot of buildings nearby.
Yes, in some of the reports, although they say it is an industrial area, I could see housing blocks beneath the bridge (in pastel colours). Of course the families had to be evacuated. Better than being killed or injured obviously, but quite traumatic. I had to stop following the tweets as it was becoming obsessive, not of any use to the victims, and I had other work to do.
With the death count now at 39, this has been on all 5 of the French news channels non stop, even more so because 4 of the dead were French. Also a number of people who were on the bridge but didn't fall into the chasm were French so of course they have been interviewed non stop.
I am still amazed by the stories of the people who fell yet survived.
I'd been practically trying not to look at the story as it will be a long time before we have much conclusive information, other than the depressing news of the rising body count. Yes, it was the day before a major holiday when everything shuts down there, so many people had -sorry - "fatto il ponte" (same expression as in French). I don't think I've ever taken that road bridge; if I recall every time I was passing through Genova whether from France or Piemont, it was on the train. Not many alternatives there.
The main thing that is evident to me is that the new bridge will be much bigger. 50 years ago, a 4 lane highway seemed more than sufficient, even through a city. Whenever they build the new bridge (how many years will it take?), I'm pretty sure that it will be at least 8 lanes.
I hear some locals here - we are close to the Italian border - talking about malversations (English ?) mafia, blind eye etc. Like it would be any different from here. And like it changes anything for these poor souls.
We had small collapses of bits of roof in the major tunnels in Bruxelles which were yet investigated. Now a lot of repair / rebuilding is taking place. The cause was Simply a lack of maintenance over the years
The recriminations are becoming more and more interesting. I love the way the Italian government is pointing fingers at the autostrada company and just about everybody else, but on their own website they had said months ago that there was absolutely no reason to waste money on fixing that bridge or building a new motorway. They have now removed that article from their website, but too late! -- it was already archived by others.
Le Pont Champlain, one of the main bridges between Montréal and the South Shore, has been replaced (original construction was poor; the two bridges older than it are in much better shape), but they aren't dismantling it, they are taking the components apart and recycling materials that can be re-used.
We also had a highway overpass collapse some years ago; several people died. There was a lot of corruption in road building at the time; a government commission was even established to investigate it.
Those elected officials look far too jokey-happy in the aftermath of a major tragedy in the city. The projected images make it appear that they want to clear out all the blocks of flats close to the bridge, although as one can see there is an entire neighbourhood there.
One aside I did like was the man with darker skin who had simply become another Italian fellow, after all the silly fears about "replacement".