The alarming photo before bridge collapse that killed 39

Hundreds of emergency workers are at the scene in Genoa

Rescuers searched overnight for survivors through tons of concrete and steel under the shattered structure of the Morandi Bridge.

At least 39 people were killed in Tuesday's collapse.

Atlantia's Autostrade per l'Italia unit manages the motorway that collapsed in the Italian city of Genoa killing at least 38 people this week. So far, 39 people have been confirmed dead, while 12 of the wounded are in critical condition. State radio said among them was a woman who suffered smoke inhalation from a fire sparked by debris falling into her home and a Czech truck driver who suffered a chest injury.

So when the causes of the Genoa bridge collapse have been investigated and reported, we will carefully assess any lessons to be learnt and will bring in any required changes to standards and processes.

The firm, which said the bridge had been undergoing maintenance work, released a statement refuting accusations of underfunding of motorway infrastructure.

"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an enormous tragedy", Transport and Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday that the tragedy "could have been avoided" if Autostrade per l'Italia had maintained the road properly.

Firemen have worked through the night looking for any survivors buried under the rubble.

A more recent fatal collapse involved a newly constructed pedestrian bridge in Florida. I do not know when. "Autostrade had to do the maintenance and did not do it".

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"It's not easy to distinguish between who doesn't respond because they are on the other side of the world and turned off their phone to relax" on vacation, and "who's not responding because they are under the rubble", he said.

"For a collapse of this type the most likely hypothesis is that one of the stay-cables, those inclined elements linking the pillar's summit to the horizontal structure, gave in", Gianni Royer Carfagni, who teaches a course in bridge construction at Parma University's engineering and architecture department, has said.

Toninelli, the transportation and infrastructure minister and another populist 5-Star leader, said his ministry had started procedures so Autostrade could be fined up to 150 million euros ($170 million).

The Morandi Bridge, inaugurated in 1967, was just over three-quarters of a mile long, with the longest section between supports measuring 200 yards.

The incident, the deadliest of its kind in Europe since 2001, is the latest in a string of bridge collapses in Italy - a country prone to damage from seismic activity, but where infrastructure generally is showing the effects of a faltering economy.

The paper accused officials in Liguria, the region controlling the city of Genoa and its surrounding, of only making important restorations when issues with bridges had become obvious. "Obviously for me, it is not", he said.

In 2016, Antonio Brencich, associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Genoa, warned it would cost more to fix the "uneven" construction, rather than just knock the bridge down.

A pensioner died in October 2016 when his auto was crushed by a collapsing bridge over a dual carriageway between Milan and Lecco.

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