On August 14, 2018, at about 11:30 local time (0930 GMT), a 209-meter-long section collapsed in the western part of the Morandi Bridge because of the heavy rain associated with the storm. Eyewitnesses reported that the bridge was struck with lightning before it collapsed. The number of vehicles that fell from the bridge was between 30 and 35 vehicles. Preliminary hypotheses for bridge collapse suggest structural weakness in the bridge or a ground collapse below.
A large part of the collapsed bridge and the vehicles that fell fell into the stream of the Polchivera River. Other parts of it fell on the railways of Turin-Genoa and Milan-Genoa, as well as on warehouses belonging to the Italian energy company Ansaldo Energia. These warehouses were almost empty because of previous falls on the eve of the official holiday of Viragusto.
The bridge was under maintenance according to the words, in addition to reinforcing the foundations of the road that was being carried out at the time of the collapse.
37 people were confirmed killed and 15 wounded, while others are still missing. Among the dead were three Italians and three Chileans, while the remaining Italians were under 50. The identities of the victims have not yet been issued.
Several survivors have been transferred to nearby hospitals, many of them in critical condition. Including 37 confirmed deaths and 16 infected persons. One of them was a Czech driver who survived the crash of his truck with a broken nose with four broken ribs and a hole in the lung.
Residents of the area and houses under the remaining part of the bridge were evacuated.
As of 2 am the next day (midnight UTC), 12 people were reported missing, some could be heard under the rubble. Rescue efforts continue using floodlights and techniques often used after earthquakes.
The crash led to a fall in the price of Atlatina Road, where the share price fell 11% and ended just below 5%.
Liguria Giovanni Totti, governor of the Liguria region, said the loss of the bridge was “a very wide-ranging incident on a vital arterial road not only for a brigade but for the country as a whole.” The bridge will be completely demolished, according to Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Eduardo Rixi.