State funeral held in Genoa for bridge collapse victims


The San Martino Hospital said Marian Rosca, 36, died Saturday evening.

At least 38 people were killed when one of the bridge's supporting towers collapsed in torrential rain on Tuesday.

A further four victims of the Genoa bridge collapse have been found, Italian media reports said, bringing the death toll to 42.

Italy's populist government has accused Autostrade per l'Italia, the firm that managed the Genoa motorway bridge, of putting profits before safety and failing to spend enough on maintenance - a charge the company vociferously denies. According to Reuters, Giovanni Castellucci, the company's CEO, said it was "premature" to comment on the government's process of revoking concessions. Among the coffins were those of two young Albanian Muslim men who lived and worked in Italy.

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

The imam drew applause when he prayed that God protect Italy and all Italians.

A woman wipes a small white coffin of a victim of a collapsed highway bridge prior to the start of Saturday's funeral service.

Several angry families rebuffed the offer of a state funeral and the cardinal of Naples was merciless in his condemnation of negligence by Italian officials.

Grieving relatives wept over the coffins of dozens of victims of Genoa's bridge disaster on Friday (Aug 17) amid growing fury over a planned state funeral, while rescuers pressed on with their tireless search for those missing in the rubble.

He said Pope Francis was praying for the dead and those suffering.

"The collapse showed a glimpse of the heart of Genoa", he said.

The bridge, built in the 1960s, is also called the "Brooklyn Bridge" due to its resemblance to the famous New York City landmark.

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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". While key landmarks like Rome's Colosseum switched off their lights in a sign of respect, Italy's top-flight football teams are holding a minute's silence ahead of their opening games of the new Serie A season starting this weekend.

Saturday is a day of national mourning.

The Mass was offered in an enormous pavilion that usually holds part of Genoa's trade fair, one of the city's principal commercial activities.

The ceremony was interrupted by applause when Bagnasco read the first name of each confirmed victim.

The cause of the collapse is still unclear.

The government was set to hold an emergency meeting in Genoa on the disaster later Saturday.

RAI state radio said authorities now believe there are no more missing in the tragedy.

The local prefect's office, which is issuing official numbers of the dead, said it didn't immediately have information about the latest bodies found.

Zanut said the last body pulled out of the wreckage was that of a young Italian man, an employee of Genoa's trash company, who was working under the bridge when it collapsed.

Firefighters discovered the three bodies, reported to be those of a couple and their nine-year-old daughter, overnight inside a vehicle extracted from the rubble of the viaduct.

An engineering study commissioned by Italian motorway operator Autostrade previous year warned about the condition of a bridge that collapsed this week in Genoa, the head of the university department that conducted the study said on Friday.