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Italian bridge collapses injuring only one as lockdown conditions reduce traffic

Italian bridge collapses injuring only one as lockdown conditions reduce traffic
Copyright Carabinieri
Copyright Carabinieri
By Matthew Holroyd with ANSA
Published on
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One man was injured and another walked away from the scene but on a normal day this could have been a disaster, and thoughts of Genoa prevail.


One person has been injured after a road bridge collapsed in Aulla, northern Italy, but it could have been so much worse.

Reports say there were two vans in transit when the bridge broken into several sections and fell onto the banks of the river Magra.

One man was taken to hospital via helicopter with minor injuries, while a second individual escaped unharmed from his vehicle.

Both vans remained on the fallen road.

In normal times, it's a very busy bridge

"The bridge collapsed on itself," said the Mayor of Aulla, Roberto Valentini, who carried out an inspection on site.

Residents in the nearby town of Caprigliola said they heard a "roar" and sounds "like falling rocks" at around 10.30 on Wednesday morning.

The collapse is also believed to have damaged a gas pipeline, and residents had reported a leak. A company spokesperson for Italgas said their emergency services had acted promptly to block the spillage.

"In normal times it's a very busy bridge, but with the coronavirus lockdown this morning when the failure occurred, only the two vans were involved," said an executive for local traffic police.

Carabinieri Massa Carrara

The structure at Albiano Magra is approximately 400 metres long and 7-8 metres high, and is located right on the border of Liguria and Tuscany, in the province of Massa Carrara.

The bridge had last been inspected on 3 November, after a crack was noticed on the surface asphalt following heavy rain.

But Anas, who own the structure, had declared that there were no "dangerous conditions".

Gianni Lorenzetti, president of the Province of Massa Carrara, says the inspection was carried out in the presence of the municipal councillor of Aulla and the police, and the municipality had reassured citizens that "traffic would not be restricted".

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Paola De Micheli, has requested an immediate report from the company Anas, following the collapse.

Albiano Magra is located just over 100km away from Genoa, where 43 people were killed in the Morandi viaduct collapse in August 2018.

A Euronews investigation found that there are around twenty badly-damaged motorway bridges in Italy currently under investigation.

In addition, the country has approximately 200 illegal tunnels, which don't comply with European standards and 1,000 viaducts which have not been assessed in years.

The region of Liguria was found to be at the centre of the crisis.


"The collapse of the Albiano Magra bridge could have been a tragedy if we had had the traffic of ordinary days", said Enrico Rossi, President of the Tuscany Region.


"This is yet another demonstration that the infrastructure of our territory is now in a state of disrepair," Rossi said in a statement.

"Hundreds of billions more investments are needed to repair the infrastructural and territorial collapse."

"I am more and more convinced that the Government must commit itself to assign special powers to all public institutions in order to start the work already planned and financed everywhere."

"I ask Anas to explain what happened, that in a very short time the bridge be rebuilt, giving proof of efficiency and responsiveness".

The Mayor of La Spezia, Pierluigi Peracchini, said the whole province is "in dismay" at news of the collapse and offered his "immediate and maximum collaboration".


The Liguria Region has also offered its support and said it be working to assess the effect the road collapse will have on transport connections in the local area.

"Infrastructure maintenance must become a top priority for our country," tweeted Giovanni Toti, President of the Liguria Region.

"I find it unacceptable that two years after the collapse of the Morandi bridge in our country there are still construction sites slowed down by a bureaucracy that is becoming the real enemy of the Italians."

"Checks and maintenance are required immediately on all our roads, viaducts, tunnels."

Toti's words were echoed on Facebook by Giacomo Giampedrone, a regional councillor for infrstructure.


"How much more time will have to pass, and how many other collapses will we tragically still have to see, before the fundamental issue of the maintenance and verification of the State's infrastructure in this country is tackled with the necessary seriousness, resources and skills?"

Meanwhile Prime Minister Matteo Renzi added that if the country does not take action on construction sites "it will get worse every year".

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