Italy prepares day of mourning for bridge victims

Italy prepares day of mourning for bridge victims

Italy's populist ruling coalition showed a united front in its push to revoke concessions held by Autostrade per l'Italia to operate toll highways after a bridge it managed collapsed this week, killing 41 people.

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

Public funerals were scheduled at 11:30am Saturday for the victims, in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Genoa Archibishop Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco. "And now, for the umpteenth time, angels have flown into heaven and paid for the mistakes of other human beings", Alessandro said.

The European Commission also tweeted its "deepest sympathy and honest condolences to the families and friends of those who have died". Among the coffins was that of an Albanian man who worked in Italy.

Genoa's prefect's office said it didn't immediately have official confirmation of the media reports of the latest discovery of bodies by rescuers.

Genoa's archbishop has told mourners at a state funeral for victims of the city's bridge collapse that Pope Francis is praying for the dead and those suffering.

While the politicians seek answers, the first funerals have taken place for the victims.

Italy's president has comforted families of numerous Genoa bridge collapse victims.

Anger and sadness erupted at the funeral Friday for four men in their 20s, all friends from the Naples seaside suburb of Torre del Greco, whose lives were snuffed out as they drove over the bridge heading to a vacation in Spain.

It is not clear what may have caused the smoke to rise but there had been concerns about gas lines being exposed after Tuesday's collapse.

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Massimo Ferrero, the president of Sampdoria, one of the city's two top-flight clubs, had called for all of this weekend's Serie A games to be postponed as a mark of respect but only the Blucerchiati's clash with Fiorentina at the Luigi Ferraris, and Genoa's meeting with AC Milan at San Siro have been called off.

Rescue workers uncovered four additional victims of the tragedy early Saturday, and a Genoa hospital says that a Romanian truck driver died in the evening.

At other funerals elsewhere in Italy on Friday, angry mourners blamed authorities of negligence and incompetence for failing to keep the bridge safe.

Others say they simply prefer to grieve in private.

Giovanni Castellucci, the chief executive of Autostrade Per L'Italia, also said the new bridge will be made out of steel.

Castellucci declined to talk about the government's stance.

Investigators are working to see if a design flaw or improper maintenance might have caused the collapse on Tuesday.

In an earlier tweet, the firefighters said their work continued without pause and that overnight they had recovered the wreckage of a vehicle involved in the collapse.

Authorities are anxious about the stability of large remaining sections of the bridge, which was built over or adjacent to several apartment buildings. Those gathered also applauded when the names of the dead were read out. Photographs of those who perished, flowers, and on at least one coffin, a signed soccer jersey, a small sports trophy and a stuffed animal added personal touches.

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