(CTN NEWS) – On the fifth anniversary of the tragic collapse of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge in Italy, a demand for justice resounded as the nation remembered the 43 lives lost.
The ceremony held in Genoa served as a solemn reminder of the catastrophe that unfolded, attributed not to a natural disaster like a flood, but rather to what officials branded as a tragic outcome of greed-fueled negligence.
Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini, addressing the gathering, emphasized that those who perished did not succumb to forces beyond human control. Instead, he underscored that their untimely deaths were the result of avarice and a failure to fulfill responsibilities.
Catastrophe Strikes: The Morandi Bridge Collapse on August 14, 2018
On that fateful day, August 14, 2018, amidst heavy rainfall and on the eve of Italy’s prominent summer holiday, a significant segment of the Morandi Bridge gave way, propelling vehicles into the arid riverbed below.
In a legal pursuit for accountability, last year witnessed the commencement of trials involving 58 individuals accused of manslaughter and related offenses.
Among the accused are former officials of the Salvini ministry, corporate executives, and technical experts linked to the company overseeing several of Italy’s bridges and motorways.
It is alleged that the defendants were well aware of the impending risk of collapse of the bridge, which had been constructed in the 1960s.
Furthermore, claims suggest that cost-cutting measures compromised the necessary maintenance, despite warnings about the corrosive impact of the neighboring Ligurian Sea’s damp, saline air.
The original designer of the bridge had advocated for consistent upkeep to prevent rust from corroding the cement structure.
Salvini Addresses Assembly Beneath New Span: Evidence of Greed and Neglect in Morandi Bridge Tragedy
Addressing the assembly beneath the new span, inaugurated in 2020 to replace the ill-fated Morandi Bridge, Salvini disclosed that he had perused portions of the trial’s documentation.
He refrained from preempting the trial’s outcome but asserted that a wealth of evidence underscored the presence of both greed and neglect.
He underscored, “Billions of euros in profits, a portion of which were intended for maintenance, seemingly went unallocated for that purpose, evident from the tragic turn of events.”
Salvini expressed his optimism that, by the subsequent year’s commemoration, Parliament would have sanctioned a proposed law.
This legislation aimed to extend equitable treatment to those affected by public works negligence, akin to the provisions afforded to victims of terrorism or organized crime, ensuring their entitlement to financial reparation.
Upon the conclusion of his remarks, the assembled crowd observed a poignant minute of silence at 11:36, the precise moment of the bridge’s collapse, accompanied by the tolling of church bells and the mournful wails of sirens resonating throughout Genoa.
Egle Possetti Addresses Gathering: Trial Progress and Unheard Warnings in Morandi Tragedy
Egle Possetti, a prominent member of the group composed of families affected by the Morandi tragedy, stepped forward to address the gathered assembly.
She conveyed the unwavering trust the Morandi families placed in the judicial system, yet expressed a disheartening sentiment regarding the trial’s progress.
She highlighted the dismaying accounts given by corporate executives and technical specialists, who disavowed any responsibility and professed gaps in their recollection of crucial information.
Furthermore, she pointed to evidence depicting a transport ministry that appeared to have acquiesced and relied on a maintenance company it was tasked with overseeing.
Among the distressing revelations, she brought to light the testimonies of numerous witnesses who possessed knowledge of the bridge’s issues but chose silence.
Her voice quivered as she shared, “They chose not to acknowledge. Without even a shred of basic civic responsibility to raise their voices, they toyed with the lives of millions.”
Italy has been marked by previous instances of bridge and highway disasters, highlighting the deteriorating condition of the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure.
While the Morandi incident stands as one of the most lethal collapses in recent memory, Salvini informed the audience that his ministry was actively endeavoring to rectify “decades of neglect” in maintaining Italy’s expansive network of 21,000 bridges and viaducts.
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