Toll rises to 42 in Italy bridge collapse ahead of funerals

Genoa bridge collapse

Rescue operations are continuing into the night as emergency personnel search for survivors

The death toll of Genoa's bridge collapse has risen to 43 as rescuers confirm they found remains believed to be of a missing family.

Genoa's prefect's office could not confirm the reports by the Ansa news agency and other Italian news media that the bodies were found by recovery workers overnight.

An engineering study commissioned by Italian motorway operator Autostrade previous year warned about the condition of a bridge that collapsed this week in Genoa, the head of the university department that conducted the study said on Friday.

Officials put the official death toll at 43, after the remains of Italian-Jamaican family of three - including their nine-year-old daughter - were retrieved from their vehicle.

Autostrade Chief Executive, Giovanni Castellucci says, "The first thought, the first action, obviously goes to the families of the victims".

The ceremony takes place as search efforts continue for an unknown number of people who may still be trapped among the massive chunks of concrete.

Media captionThe families of 18 of the victims gathered to mourn at a state funeral What are relatives saying?

An 80-metre-long section of the bridge, part of a motorway linking the port city of Genoa with southern France, gave way in busy lunchtime traffic, sending dozens of vehicles into free-fall.

The Morandi Bridge crosses the Genoa-Milan train line and a river.

GENOA, Italy-Italy's president demanded guarantees August 18 that all the nation's roads are safe following the Genoa highway bridge collapse, after he hugged and comforted mourners at a state funeral in the grieving port city.

The government has accused Autostrade of failing to invest in sufficient maintenance and said it would seek to revoke its lucrative contracts.

At the state funeral in Genoa, players from the city's two soccer teams - Genoa and Sampdoria - sat among the crowd, having refused to play matches this weekend in a sign of respect.

"The collapse of the bridge was a gash in the heart of Genoa, it's a deep wound", the archbishop said in his homily.

The government said it will launch a plan in September aimed at making Italy's infrastructure safe, a government official said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini demanded that the company offer up to 500 million euros to help families and local government deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

The dead also include children, three Chileans and four French nationals. "You apologise if you feel you are responsible", he said, adding that he would wait for official investigators to determine responsibility for the collapse.

Atlantia, the holding company that controls Autostrade per l'Italia, had no immediate comment.The government is demanding that the company rebuild the bridge at its own expense and within a set period of time.

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