Update: Civil protection sources state that the death toll is expected to be 35. At the same time the debate about the responsibilities of this tragedy started.
22 lifeless bodies have been taken so far from under the rubble after a section of the Morandi Bridge, which lies to the west of the port city of Genoa, collapsed. Amongst them there is the body of a child. 4 were pulled out alive.
Vehicles ended up plummeting up to 90m (295ft) to the ground.
There are fears that many more may have been killed or injured.
Video footage appears to show one of the towers holding up the suspension bridge collapsing in stormy weather.
The police linked the disaster to what they called a violent cloudburst.
The Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte will go to Genoa later on Tuesday. Conte will also spend Wednesday in Genoa, premier office sources said. Transport and Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli on Monday described the collapse of a motorway viaduct in Genoa as an “inhuman tragedy”.
“I am following what has happened in Genoa with maximum apprehension, which looks like being an inhuman tragedy,” Toninelli said via Twitter. “We are in close contact with the highways agency and we are going to the scene with deputy minister Rixi. “My total support and the moment is with the city”.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that the government was working to save lives. “We are following the situation of the Genoa bridge collapse minute by minute,” Salvini said via Twitter. “I thank the 200 fire fighters (and all the other heroes) who are already working to save lives”.
The incident occurred around noon (6 a.m. ET) Tuesday, Italian state police said, later posting a video on Twitter of the moment the bridge gave way. Police said that a violent storm was the cause of the collapse.
Part of the Morandi Bridge on the Italian highway A10 towards Genoa has collapsed.
Initial reports indicate that there are a number of cars involved in the incident.
The collapse seems to be linked to structural aspects of the bridge. The collapsed part fell a height of circa 100 meters.
More info will follow.