Tuesday 25 September 2018

'Miracle' man tells of being thrown 10 metres into wall during Italian bridge collapse tragedy, as at least 35 are dead

The injured man talks to the media at the scene. Photo: AP
The injured man talks to the media at the scene. Photo: AP
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A man who was under the highway bridge as it collapsed said it was “a miracle” that he survived. The middle-aged man, who did not give his name, told local Italian TV that he was standing in front of his truck under the bridge in the city of Genoa when the structure collapsed yesterday.

He said the shockwave sent him flying more than 10 metres into a wall, injuring his right shoulder and hip.

“I was in front of the truck, and flew away like everything else,” he told reporters. “Yes, I think it’s a miracle. I don’t know what to say. I’m out of words.”

The collapse happened on the day before a national holiday at the peak of the summer holiday season, killing at least 35 people. Genoa is considered a gateway to the resorts of the Italian Riviera and the roads would be very busy with holidaymakers.

Meanwhile, an Irish woman has spoken of her family’s lucky escape after they drove over the bridge just two hours before the collapse. Jean Androne said her family were visiting the area where her husband has relatives.

They were on their way back to the airport with their 11-year-old child to return a hire car at around 8.30am, she told RTÉ ‘News at One’ yesterday.

The bridge, which is on the main route to the airport, is always busy, she said.

“I was on the bridge (recently) and sat there for about half an hour because the traffic was so bad,” she said.

“It’s a journey we do quite regularly. We’re both really shaken and shocked. It’s the closest we’ve ever been to something so tragic.”

Irish Independent

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