Genoa, Sampdoria games called off in wake of bridge collapse

Kenny Grant
August 19, 2018

Excavators began clearing large sections of the collapsed highway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa on Friday, searching for people still missing three days after the deadly accident that one survivor said ended with an "unreal silence".

Italian RAI state radio said it is believed he is the last missing person after a German man called officials to say he was not involved in the disaster.

Families of 19 of the dead had their loved ones' coffins brought to the hall for the funeral Mass led by Genoa's archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

His voice shaking with anger, Battiloro said his son was the "victim of a cruel fate, but also of whoever didn't think that on that bridge could be the children of those who are despairing today". Among the coffins were those of two young Albanian Muslim men who lived and worked in Italy.

Rescue workers arriving at the ceremony were given a sustained round of applause, as the death toll rose to 41 after a couple from Turin and their nine-year old daughter were found beneath the rubble.

Numerous victims' families declined the state funeral, with some reportedly holding government responsible for the accident.

A funeral for four friends who died in the bridge collapse took place on Friday.

Italy was preparing an official day of mourning on Saturday to commemorate the dozens of people killed in Genoa's bridge disaster with some outraged relatives of victims set to shun the official ceremonies.

But the bridge collapse is the latest symptom of Italy's woeful infrastructure, a sector where big projects have provided rich pickings for the Camorra of Naples, the 'Ndrangheta of Calabria and Cosa Nostra in Sicily.

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The announcement came the same day a private gathering and a community candlelight vigil were held to remember the victims. He is due back in court next week where he is expected to be formally charged in the deaths of his wife and two daughters.

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Also, "Another knowledgeable source described her as "despising" everything he stood for, as an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter". Similarly, the Fillmore Detroit and the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts have also put up tributes to Aretha.

Lega Serie A said it had postponed Genoa's match at AC Milan and Sampdoria's game at home to Fiorentina following requests made by the two clubs "as a outcome of the tragedy which has struck the city of Genoa".

Experts have warned that thousands of other bridges in Italy could be at risk of collapse.

The bridge was managed by private motorway company Autostrade per l'Italia, which the Italian government is holding responsible for the tragedy. According to Reuters, Giovanni Castellucci, the company's CEO, said it was "premature" to comment on the government's process of revoking concessions.

But Genoa prosecutors say they are focusing their investigation into possible criminal blame on design flaws or inadequate maintenance on the heavily traveled bridge, which was completed in 1967 and linked two high-speed highways in the city.

ANSA said the bodies were found inside a auto smashed under a huge block of concrete from the collapse on Tuesday.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has declared a state of emergency for Genoa, one of Italy's busiest ports, whose main land corridor with France has effectively been severed.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from homes located near the two remaining sections of the bridge for fear they, too, would collapse.

At the state funeral, the names of the dead were placed on each coffin before the altar. Photographs, flowers and on one coffin a signed sports jersey, a sports trophy and a stuffed animal added personal touches.

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