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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 25 July 2021

Italy demolishes remainder of Genoa bridge which collapsed last year

43 people were killed when the Morandi bridge collapsed last August.

Italy Genoa Bridge Dust rises as the remaining spans of the Morandi bridge are demolished in today's planned expolosion, Source: LUCA ZENNARO/PA Images

THE TWO REMAINING towers of the motorway bridge in the Italian city Genoa that collapsed nearly a year ago killing 43 people has been demolished to make way for a new structure.

The remains of the 4,500-tonne Morandi bridge were detonated at 9:37 am and took just seven seconds to collapse in a cloud of dust.

Nearly 4,000 residents had been evacuated ahead of the demolition, and water tanks were placed around the towers to prevent the spread of dust.

Some 400 security forces were also deployed to the area.

Locals and officials including Deputy Prime Ministers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio witnessed the blast. 

The pair had spent several days at the site when it collapsed in bad weather on 14 August 2018.

The disaster threw the spotlight on Italy’s creaking infrastructure. Salvini suggested EU budget spending demands from Brussels had limited Italy’s ability to maintain it. 

The dismantling of the bridge’s remains started in February. 

Ahead of the demolition, residents expressed relief that the eyesore would finally be gone but were also concerned about the possible consequences of the detonation.

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The bridge ”is high, it is big, it is full of iron, it is super heavy… I don’t know what will happen when it falls. Apart from the dust it will cause, I am worried about the impact,” local Francesco Russo said yesterday. 

With the demolition over, officials are now waiting for the arrival of a ship transporting the first parts of a new bridge, the construction of which is scheduled to begin next year. 

The government has promised that the new steel and concrete motorway bridge, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will be open for traffic in April 2020. 

© – AFP 2019

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