France opens criminal enquiry into Genoa bridge tragedy

Four young French citizens were amongst those killed in the collapse of the motorway viaduct in Genoa on Tuesday, August 14, the France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday.

The Ministry said it remains in contact with the Italian authorities to determine the possible presence of other French victims. The four were travelling in the same car and were identified by an earring and a bracelet.

Morandi Bridge. (Pic: Commons Wikimedia)
Pic: Commons Wikimedia

The overall death toll rose to 39 on Wednesday, which was also a national holiday in Italy and France.

The 1.1 kilometre-long Morandi Bridge, a concrete structure built in the 1960s, experienced structural problems as soon as it was built and was subject to costly maintenance, particularly related to cracks and to the degradation of the concrete. Work was being carried out on the foundations to the bridge when the tragedy happened.

The French authorities have opened criminal investigation for unintentional injuries and involuntary homicide.

The investigation will be carried out by the Directorate General of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN).

Meanwhile, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced the introduction of a state of emergency for 12 months in Genoa.

Italy’s Minister of Transport, Danilo Toninelli, promised that light would be shed on the causes of the tragedy. “This kind of tragedy can not happen in a civilised country,” he said.