The number of victims of the recent collapse of a section of Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa increased to 43 people on Saturday, as one of those severely injured has passed away at a hospital, RaiNews24 reported.
According to the RaiNews24 broadcaster, a 36-year-old driver from Romania died at a hospital of San Martino in Genoa. Thus, nine people remain in hospitals, with eight of them in a serious condition.
A part of Ponte Morandi in the Italian northwestern city collapsed on Tuesday, with at least 30 cars plunging hundreds of feet to the ground. Death toll previously stood at 42 people, while 10 injured had been remaining in hospitals.
Meanwhile, CEO of Autostrade per l’Italia, which manages and maintains most of Italy’s toll roads, including the collapsed Morandi bridge in the city of Genoa, apologized on Saturday for the tragedy for the first time since it has happened.
“I apologize profoundly. I express my grief and closeness to the relatives of the victims, their friends, the Genoese, this is the pain that I carry in my heart,” Giovanni Castellucci said during a special press conference in Genoa, which was broadcast live by Italian news channels.
Castellucci assured that Autostrade per l’Italia intended to alleviate the suffering of people whose relatives died as a result of the collapse of the bridge. He announced that the company was creating a special fund worth “millions of euros” for the tragedy’s victims.
He added that the company was ready to begin work on restoring the collapsed bridge.
“It is our primary responsibility to restore this bridge and to resume traffic on it, and we have a project that will allow us to do this within eight months, including the dismantling and restoration process to get a new steel bridge,” Castellucci said.
He reiterated that the company had no information that the collapsed bridge had been in a critical condition.
“All the reports that I was acknowledged with said that its condition was good,” he said.
The top manager added that this issue would be the subject of analysis and expertise, which will be held at the request of the prosecutor’s office.
This is the first public appearance of Autostrade per l’Italia leadership after the tragedy in Genoa. Until now, Castellucci has been limited to brief statements that “all the work and condition of the viaduct were under constant surveillance and control,” and that “there was no evidence that the bridge was posing threat.”
Italy declared a national mourning on Saturday. Earlier in the day, the state funeral of 18 people, including a nine-year-old boy, who died as a result of the motorway collapse, was held at one of the premises of the city’s fairgrounds.