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Hundreds gather to honour 43 people killed in Genoa bridge collapse one year ago

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Hundreds gather to honour 43 people killed in Genoa bridge collapse one year ago
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Reuters
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Today marks the first anniversary of the collapse of the Ponte Morandi in Genoa which killed 43 people.

Hundreds of people, including the Genoese mayor Marco Bucci and Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, have gathered near the site to commemorate all those who died or were injured when a 210-metre section of the bridge fell 150ft.

A total of 43 people were killed and 29 people were injured in the disaster along with 600 people living below the bridge who were made homeless.

The bridge, which was first opened in 1967, was eventually demolished in June but an investigation into the collapse of the bridge continues.

Last month, the Italian financial police, the Guardia di Finanza, seized documents from Atlanta, which is the parent company of the one responsible for maintaining the bridge, Autostrade per l'Italia, according to the Financial Times.

Read more: Genoa bridge anniversary: expert warns of maintenance issues for other Italian bridges

The newspaper reported Atlantia had commissioned "extraordinary" investigations into the stability of the bridge every year except 2009 and 2017 for the ten years preceding the collapse.

The company said it spent €9m on upkeeping the bridge between 2015 and 2018.

The coalition government of the populist Five Star and hard-right Lega party has been vocal in its criticism of Autostrade and has suggested revoking its licence to work on government contracts in Italy.

Autrostrade and Atlantia have denied any wrongdoing with Atlantia saying the reports did not show any need for emergency maintenance work on the bridge.

Watch: Priest reads the names of every victim of the Genoa bridge disaster

The collapse was one of the biggest infrastructure collapses in Italian history but a structural engineer has told Euronews other bridges in the country may be at risk.

Paolo Clemente, the Research Director at ENEA - the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, said: "To put (in) monitoring systems that can control old bridges is not very easy, it's more expensive also. so we cannot do that.

"In Italy, we don't have very long bridges like in other countries.

"The Morandi Bridge in Genoa was one of the longest spanning in Italy."

Watch: As-it-happened coverage of commemorations to mark Genoa bridge collapse anniversary