Firefighters remove debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Italian authorities have lowered the death to 38 from 39 in the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa. Genoa Prefect Office official Raffaella Corsaro told AP that there had been a "misunderstanding" about information from ambulance dispatchers. Earlier, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that as rescuers comb through the rubble for more bodies it will be "inevitable" that the death toll will eventually rise. Dozens of vehicles plunged into a dry river bed after the collapse Tuesday. (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP)

The Latest: Italian mayor shuts down bridge as a precaution

August 17, 2018 - 10:35 am

GENOA, Italy (AP) — The Latest on this week's bridge collapse in Italy's Genoa (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A mayor in southern Italy has ordered the closure of a bridge designed by the same architect who created the collapsed Genoa highway bridge.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Benevento Mayor Clemente Mastella as saying Friday about his precautionary measure that it is "better to have inconveniences than trouble" for bridge users.

On Wednesday, the day after Genoa's Morandi Bridge collapsed, killing at least 38 people, Mastella asked experts to check his city's San Nicola bridge, which was also designed by architect Riccardo Morandi. That bridge was built in 1955 and had been reinforced in 2016.

Genoa prosecutors are focusing their probe into the cause of the bridge collapse on a possible design flaw or inadequate maintenance.

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12:15 p.m.

Davide Capello was driving across the bridge toward the Italian city of Genoa when suddenly, the road dropped out from under him. A trained firefighter, he understood immediately that the structure had collapsed.

Capello was at the midpoint of the bridge, he recounted Friday, when "everything, the world, came down." The 33-year-old said: "I heard a noise, a dull noise. I saw the columns of the highway in front of me come down. A car in front of me disappeared into the darkness."

His car plunged nose first, then suddenly stopped with a crash, air bags releasing around him. He said he saw only gray. Outside, he said, "there was an unreal silence."

Capello was released from the hospital Thursday, two days after the collapse. He said had no major physical injuries.

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9:50 p.m.

Excavators have begun clearing large sections of the collapsed highway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa in the search for people still missing three days after the deadly accident.

The search entered a new phase Friday as heavy equipment removed a large vertical section, clearing a new area to probe. Rescuers have been tunneling through tons of jagged steel, concrete and crushed vehicles that plunged as many as 45 meters (150 feet) when the bridge suddenly fell during a downpour on Tuesday.

Officials say 38 people are confirmed killed and 15 injured. Prosecutors say 10 to 20 people might be unaccounted-for and the death toll is expected to rise.

The first funerals were being held later Friday, ahead of a state funeral in Genoa on Saturday to be celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

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