09 September 2018 Posted By : Edited by Jenny Brooks

Genoa Bridge Collapse: The Road to Tragedy

The southern supports that initially went slack are the same in which a structural engineering professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Carmelo Gentile, found troubling signals of corrosion or other possible damage in tests performed last October.

He warned the company that manages the bridge, Autostrade per l’Italia, or Highways for Italy, but he said that it never followed up on his recommendation to perform a fuller computer study and to outfit the bridge with permanent sensors.

“Probably they underestimated the importance of the information,” Professor Gentile said in an interview.

Autostrade never denied Professor Gentile’s findings, but said that no one had perceived any urgency. In a statement this week, Autostrade said that Professor Gentile’s suggestions were included in a proposal to retrofit the viaduct that was approved in June, but blamed the Ministry of Infrastructure for months of delays in authorizing the work.

The footage from the security camera has not been previously reported in detail, and has not been made public. But it was described to The New York Times by two senior members of the investigation, including a member of the Genoa financial police, which is commanded by Col. Filippo Ivan Bixio.

Interviews with dozens of rescue workers, investigators and expert engineers, as well as an examination of drone and helicopter footage and the rubble itself, allow for a sketch of the collapse from beginning to end.

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