Several people have died after a section of a highway bridge in northern Italy partially collapsed Tuesday, according to rescue sources cited by Italian news agency ANSA.
The unnamed sources told ANSA that several crushed vehicles are under the rubble with dead people inside, without providing a specific number of casualties. ANSA reports around 10 vehicles are involved after a section of the Morandi Bridge, which lies to the west of the port city of Genoa, collapsed.
The incident occurred around noon (6 a.m. ET) Tuesday, Italian state police said, later posting a video on Twitter of the moment the bridge gave way. Police said that a violent storm was the cause of the collapse.
Shortly after the collapse, rescue vehicles were seen racing to the site. The fire department in Genoa tweeted that a large number of firefighters were at the scene.
Giorgio Larosa posted a video on Instagram showing rescuers working in heavy rain to free people from crushed vehicles in a grassy area below the bridge.
The section of the A10 highway affected crosses over several roads, railway tracks, shopping centers, homes and the Polcevera river. It is a major thoroughfare, linking central Genoa with Genoa airport and towns along the coast to the west of the city.
The bridge, also known as the Polcevera Viaduct, was designed by Italian civil engineer Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1968.
Italy’s Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli tweeted, “I am following with the utmost apprehension what has happened to #Genoa and which looms as an immense tragedy. We are in close contact with Autostrade (company managing Italian highways) and we are going to the the site with the deputy Minister Rixi. My total closeness at this time to the city.”