Vigili Del Fuoco

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as new information is available.

A large section of the 1960s-era highway Morandi Bridge collapsed today in Genoa, Italy, according to multiple news reports. At this time, at least 20 fatalities are being reported. The New York Times reports: "Just before noon, the roadway fell as much as 45 meters, or about 148 feet, taking about three dozen cars and three trucks with it, said Angelo Borrelli, chief of the Civil Protection Department."

The cause of today's collapse is unknown, although it was storming at the time. Reuters reports that the motorway operator had been performing maintenance work on the bridge.

According to a paper written by the Federal Highway Administration's Walter Podolny Jr. and published in PCI Journal's January-February 1973 issue, the bridge is a prestressed concrete cable-stayed bridge designed by civil engineer Riccardo Morandi. "It is a high level viaduct 3600 ft (1100 m) long with the roadway at an elevation of 181 ft (55 m) above the terrain," Podolny writes in his paper. "The three main cable-stayed spans have lengths of 664, 689, and 460 ft (200, 210, and 140 m)." Podolny notes that the bridge is "similar in design and appearance to the Maracaibo Bridge," another bridge designed by Morandi in Venezuela. In 1964, a 1,500‐foot piece of this 5-mile Venezuela bridge collapsed when it was hit by an oil tanker, according to a New York Times article published at the time.