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Genoa bridge collapse: 59 people go on trial in Italy over 2018 disaster

Baku, July 8, AZERTAC

Dozens of people have gone on trial in Italy over the deadly collapse of Genoa's Morandi Bridge in 2018, according to Euronews.

A total of 59 defendants are accused of manslaughter, negligence, forgery, and several other charges linked to the deaths of 43 people.

They include former executives and experts of Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI) -- who manage Italy's roads -- and former officials within the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

A huge section of the Morandi bridge broke off during a violent rainstorm on 14 August 2018, sending cars plunging into the dry riverbed below.

Prosecutors have alleged that the defendants knew the bridge was at risk of collapsing and failed to maintain it to save money.

A lawyer for former ASPI CEO Giovanni Castellucci has argued that the bridge collapsed due to a sudden “construction defect” and not as a result of maintenance negligence. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted.

After an hour of legal proceedings, Judge Paolo Lepri set a new hearing date for September 12.

Shocking images of the collapse of the Morandi bridge will remain long in the memory of many Italian citizens.

The 1.2-kilometre bridge on the A10 motorway through Genoa provided a link between northern Italy and France.

But amid heavy rain one morning, nearly four years ago, a 200-metre section of the bridge around pillar 9 collapsed.

The collapse of the structure -- built in the 1960s -- also highlighted the poor state of Italy's transport infrastructure.

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