Newsroom / CNA
A motorway bridge has collapsed in the northwest Italian city of Genoa, killing at least 35 people as vehicles plummeted to the ground, emergency services say.
Dramatic video footage captured the moment of the disaster when one of the huge supporting towers crashed down during torrential rain.
Vehicles and debris fell 45m (148ft) on to rail tracks, buildings and a river. Rescuers are trying to free people caught in crushed vehicles or rubble.
Fears that other parts of the bridge might fall have prompted the evacuation of buildings in the area, a rescuer told Italy's Ansa news agency.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised that anyone found to be responsible for the bridge collapse would be held to account.
"I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times," he said. "Now, as an Italian citizen, I will do everything to get the names and surnames of the managers responsible, past and present, because it is unacceptable to die like that in Italy."
A representative of the motorway's operator, Autostrade, told Reuters news agency there had been "no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous".
Shares in Atlantia, Autostrade's parent company which runs much of the country's motorways, fell 6.3% after news of the collapse.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is due to visit the scene to support the search-and-rescue effort and show solidarity with the victims and their families, his office said.
How did the structure collapse?
It fell around 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT) during heavy rain. Police reported a violent cloudburst.
"We saw lightning strike the bridge," eyewitness Pietro M all'Asa was quoted as saying by Ansa. "And we saw the bridge going down."
Another witness, unnamed, recalled: "We heard an incredible roar and first we thought it was thunder very close by.
"We live about 5km [three miles] from the bridge but we heard a crazy bang... We were very scared... Traffic went completely haywire and the city was paralysed."
One image posted by the regional emergency services shows a truck perched at the end of the surviving bridge section immediately before the drop.
So far no Cypriots among the victims
So far no Cypriots have been reported among the victims of a motorway bridge collapse at Genoa, Italy earlier Tuesday.
A Foreign Ministry statement said the Ministry is closely following the situation and is in direct communication with the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Italy.
It said that on the basis of current available information, no Cypriot nationals are among the victims.
Cypriot nationals who are currently in Italy or are planning to visit the area shortly are advised to follow developments through media and observe the instructions of the local authorities.
For more information or possible consular assistance, Cypriot nationals can contact the Embassy of Cyprus in Italy at 35, Via Ludovisi, 00187 Rome, telephone number +39 068088365 /7.
In case of emergency and / or consular emergency issues, Cypriot nationals may also contact the Duty officer at the Foreign Ministry (Non office hours only) at tel.: + 35 799 660 129 or at the Crisis Management Department CY MFA, at tel.: + 357 22 80 1000