Toll rises to 42 in Italy bridge collapse

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The bodies were recovered from a auto crushed under slabs of concrete, the Genoa prefecture said, five days after a 200-metre section of the Morandi bridge gave way in busy traffic, plunging vehicles and debris to the ground 50 metres (165 feet) below.

The death toll in the Italy bridge collapse has risen to 42.

Public outrage over the tragedy was mounting as Italian politicians spoke of repercussions for the private companies involved in maintaining the country's creaking infrastructure.

A state funeral is being held for the victims of the disaster on Saturday.

With anger and grief, Italians began burying some of their dead on Friday (Saturday NZ time) from the Genoa highway bridge collapse, holding funerals in the victims' hometowns.

"This disaster obliges us to take new initiatives which are much more rigorous than those adopted by previous governments", Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a statement.

The service, which coincided with a national day of mourning, came as firefighters still searching for five missing people discovered a vehicle with human remains inside.

Bagnasco said the tragedy "gashed the heart of Genoa".

Mr Castellucci added that he would wait for official investigators to determine responsibility for the collapse, but stated that all the bridges managed by the firm are safe.

In this frame taken from a video released by the Vigili del Fuoco (Firefighters), an aerial view of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge, in Genoa, on August 18, 2018.

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Meanwhile, Genoa's archbishop, Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco, led a funeral Mass before 19 coffins.

A Genoa hospital said 36-year-old Romanian truck driver Marian Rosca had succumbed to his severe cranial and chest injuries and died.

A state funeral was held for numerous victims on Saturday, and Italian President Sergio Mattarella attended the event. The imam drew applause when he prayed that God protect Italy and all Italians.

At the state funeral, the names of the dead were placed on each coffin before the altar.

Autostrade per l'Italia, which runs almost half of Italy's motorway network, has set aside €500m (£448m) to rebuild the structure and aid the port city in its recovery from the disaster.

Over 600 people were displaced from their homes after the collapse of the viaduct, which soared over a densely populated neighbourhood to connect the eastern and western parts of the bustling port city.

According to a 2011 report by Autostrade per l'italia, which runs Italy's toll highways network, the bridge was suffering from decay due to high traffic.

While all those listed as missing had now been accounted for, a fire brigade official Stefano Zanut told Sky TG24: "Our work continues in order to have the full certainty that nobody has been left under the rubble".

The Liguria region, where Genoa is located, declared a year-long state of emergency, with the government providing €28.5m for the year following the collapse.

As the cleanup crews went about their work, authorities were anxious about the stability large remaining sections of the bridge, prompting a wider evacuation order and forcing about 630 people from nearby apartments, some practically in the shadow of the elevated highway.

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