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Watch: Italy's Genoa bridge destroyed in six second controlled explosion

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Watch: Italy's Genoa bridge destroyed in six second controlled explosion
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Reuters
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It took just six seconds to demolish two pylons of an old bridge in Genoa in northern Italy. The eye and ear-catching spectacle will pave the way for the building of a new structure after the bridge dramatically collapsed last August, killing 43 people.

The controlled explosion used 550 kilograms of explosives to destroy the two towers of the Morandi bridge. Cannons shot water over the 40,000 tons of steel and concrete to prevent huge clouds of dust engulfing the city.

More than 3,400 residents living near the bridge were evacuated from their home and brought to accommodation centres. The area will be closed off to the public until 2200 GMT and residents will be allowed back to their homes once the dust settles. The demolition process began in February.

Italian companies Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri have been assigned the role of reconstructing the bridge.

The collapse on August 14 sent dozens of vehicles plunging 30 metres to the ground below.

The bridge collapse has made access to Genoa's busy port more difficult and has caused a longer detour for drivers.

The coalition government wants a rapid reconstruction to prove its break from corruption and inefficiency on Italian infrastructure projects.

Autostrade per l'Italia, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia which was in charge of the bridge's maintenance during the time of the collapse.

It's not clear if the government will revoke a concession on the company, which Rome accused of serious failings for its maintenance of the bridge. Autostrade denied any wrongdoing and said regular, state-supervised inspections had indicated the ageing structure was safe.

The cancellation procedure with Autostrade started shortly after the bridge collapsed but the coalition partners are now split.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement wants to push ahead with the bridge's reconstruction, but it's coalition partner, the right-wing League is taking its time, which is partly because of concerns over compensation costs but also because Atlantia is now seen as a potential investor in Italy's weakened flagship airline Alitalia.

Read more: Demolition of Genoa's collapsed Morandi bridge begins