Genoa magistrate says 10-20 people may be missing in bridge collapse

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That year, Giovanni Calvini, then-head of the Genoa branch of the Italian employers organisation Confindustria said it would collapse in "10 years' time".

Pope Francis has led prayers for the victims in St Peter's Square, saying: "I am especially thinking of all those tried by the tragedy in Genoa yesterday, which caused victims and a sense of loss in the population".

Within hours of the viaduct giving way and sending vehicles plummeting, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said the European Union must allow Rome to include in its next budget all the funds needed to ensure the country's infrastructure was safe.

He said reconstruction of the key artery should begin "as quickly as possible".

Danilo Toninelli said on Wednesday that the senior management at Autostrade per l'Italia "must step down".

It was drawn up in opposition to the "Gronda di Genova", a major infrastructure project to improve the motorways in the city region that included work on the now collapsed bridge.

Luciano Goccia returned to the site of the rubble Thursday to retrieve possessions from the back of his wrecked truck.

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Goccia added in comments to reporters that "a miracle" is the only explanation for his survival.

More than 650 feet of the 1960s bridge crumpled without warning as traffic crossed the busy stretch of motorway on Tuesday, in the deadliest disaster of its kind in Europe since 2001. I heard a roar. "I turned around and I saw myself flying against a wall" and next to another truck.

Italian authorities on Wednesday increased the death toll in the Genoa bridge collapse to 39, after more bodies were recovered in the rubble.

Spokesman Christian Spahr said the Commission, the EU's executive, had remained silent until now "in respect of the bad nature of the things that happened".

The statement goes on to say that "a bridge-crane was installed to allow maintenance works to be carried out" adding that, "the work and status of the viaduct were subject to constant observation and supervision" by their Genoa division.

"Italy sorely needs higher and better public investments but they haven't been a priority for politicians in recent years", Piga said, noting that the previous administration had even appeared to divert some funds away from infrastructure after winning some budgetary leeway from Brussels for investments.

Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini declined to say how many people are feared missing, because a number of those involved were on holiday and so were not expected to return to their homes.

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But two days after a section of the Morandi motorway bridge crashed 45 meters to the ground, bringing more than 30 cars down with it, hopes of finding survivors were dwindling.

"The search and rescue operations will continue until we find all those people that are listed as missing", Sonia Noci, a spokeswoman for Genoa firefighters, told The Associated Press.

Experts warned the Morandi bridge was a disaster waiting to happen years before it collapsed in Genoa on Tuesday, killing dozens.

Italy's deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, blamed the bridge collapse on a lack of maintenance by the private company that operates numerous nation's toll highways.

He also said Italians would observe a national day of mourning Saturday when state funerals will be held for the victims. The ceremony will be presided over by Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco. The news agency ANSA said the theoretical drop was 21.4 percent, from Tuesday's close of 23.54 euros ($26.66).

A former goalkeeper for Italian Serie A club Cagliari survived the deadly collapse of a motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday despite going down with the bridge in his vehicle and ending up among the rubble.

The Milan-based Atlantia, partly owned by the Benetton family, insisted the government would have to reimburse the value of the contract if it were revoked.

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Opened in 1967, the bridge is part of the A10 motorway connecting Genoa to France and is named after designer Riccardo Morandi.