Italy’s trial in the case of the Genoa bridge collapse, which killed at least of 43 people in 2018, start on Thursday. 59 defendants are being tried for manslaughter and endangering the safety of transportation.
On August 14, 2004, the Morandi bridge, which is a crucial portion of a road between Italy and France, gave way after heavy rain, sending scores of automobiles and their occupants plummeting into the depths.
The tragedy brought attention to the poor condition of Italy’s transportation system. The bridge was opened in 1967, and Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI), which manages over half of the nation’s road network, is accused of neglecting its upkeep. The Morandi bridge “was a time bomb,” according to Walter Cotugno, one of the prosecutors.
“You could hear the ticking, but you didn’t know when it was going to blow.” he stated in February.
Executives and technicians from the two companies make up the majority of the defendants that the Genoa court has summons.
Giovanni Castellucci, the general manager of Autostrade at the time, Antonino Galata, the former CEO of Spea, and representatives from the Ministry of Infrastructure are among them.
“Acknowledgement Of responsibility”
While Roberto Tomasi, Castellucci’s successor and a high ranking Autostrade official since 2015, is the prosecution’s major witness, the defense predicts that the indictment “will fall like an autumn leaf.” Autostrade was a member of the Atlantia group at the time of the disaster, which was run by the affluent Benetton family. The family gave up its stake to the state last May as a result of pressure from the political elite and public outrage.
Autostrade and Spea will avoid the trial despite the fact that their former directors are in the dock thanks to an out-of-court agreement with the public prosecutor’s office that calls for a payment of 29 million euros ($30 million) to the state.
This deal “constitutes a first acknowledgement of responsibility” on the side of the two firms, according to Raffaele Caruso, the attorney for the committee of victims’ relatives of the Morandi bridge.
“This is one of the most important trials in the recent history of Italy, in terms of the number of defendants, the scale of the tragedy and in terms of the wound inflicted on a whole city,” he told AFP.
Watch The Genoa Italy Bridge Collapsed Video Below