‘It was a miracle’: Survivor of Genoa bridge collapse shares his story (VIDEO)
An injured eyewitness who walked away from the catastrophe spoke to Ruptly on Tuesday, sharing what he remembers about his lucky escape from the collapse of 50-meter-high section of the Ponte Morandi.
He said he was in front of a truck beneath the bridge at the moment that the tragedy occurred, and the structure collapsed “as soon as” he moved from under it. When a journalist asked the survivor if it had been a miracle, the man said: “I think so, yes. I don't know what to say. I have no words. I do not remember anything else.”
“A roar, I flew away. I fell to the ground against the wall,” the man said, sporting a bandaged hand. He added that he had also suffered a blow to the hip. “The shockwave made me fly about 10 meters away. I went banging against a wall. I do not remember anything else.”
On Tuesday evening, the official number of deceased stopped at 22, but officials feared that the number of casualties was destined to grow. On Wednesday, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said the death toll had reached 35, including a number of children. A spokeswoman for the police in Genoa said that a further rise in the number of casualties cannot be ruled out, according to Reuters.
Later in the day, the region of Liguria announced that 39 had been killed and 15 injured. President of the region, Giovanni Toti, also said that he had requested the imposition of a nationwide state of emergency.
The doctor in charge of the emergency department at Genoa’s San Martino Hospital told Ruptly that they are not only trying to identify bodies, but also trying to help relatives to deal with the tragic loss.
“We set up an area for relatives to have the help of psychologists and a psychiatrist, in a dramatic and difficult moment of their existence,” Angelo Gratarola, director of the hospital’s emergency department said on Tuesday.
One day after the tragedy hit Genoa, Italy’s Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli demanded the resignations of top management at the company operating the bridge, Autostrade per l’Italia. He also announced other strict measures, saying that the state would now take care of highways as the company had failed.
“I have given mandate to my ministry to start all proceedings to apply the agreement, that is to revoke the concession from these companies and seek significant sanctions which can reach up to 150 million euros based on the terms of the contract,” he wrote on Facebook.
Genoa chief prosecutor Francesco Cozzi said that “human error” led to the collapse of the bridge, Italian media reported. He added that now the authorities will do whatever is necessary to find out what led to the tragedy.
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