A large section of the Morandi Bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, Tuesday -- killing at least 22 people and burying some people in debris, officials said. Photo by Luca Zennaro/EPA-EFE
Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A bridge in northern Italy collapsed Tuesday, killing at least 35 people, officials said, and the toll could grow as rescuers search through debris for survivors.
The Morandi Bridge, part of the A10 motorway in northern Italian city of Genoa linking Italy to France, partly collapsed in heavy rain, sending vehicles plunging nearly 150 feet to the ground.
Angelo Borrelli, chief of the Civil Protection Department, said at least 15 people sustained injuries, nine of whom were in serious condition, The New York Times reported.
"We have received the full support of nearby regions Lombardy and Piedmont, all their hospitals are available to us," Franceso Bermano, emergency management services director for the region, said.
"Firefighters together with the sanitary workers are pulling out patients, someone has already arrived in the hospital," Bermano added. "We are working but at this moment we do not yet have the full size of the problem."
A violent storm Tuesday morning preceded the collapse and is being considered as a cause.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said anyone found to be responsible for the incident would be held accountable.
"We are following minute-by-minute the situation of the collapse of the Genoa bridge, I thank the 200 firemen (and all the other heroes) who are already working to save lives," he tweeted.
Lawmaker Sergio Battelli posted a video of the scene online. In a tweet, he called it "a tragedy of immense proportions."
The bridge, built in the 1960s, is also called the "Brooklyn Bridge" due to its resemblance to the famous New York City landmark. It's about 150 feet tall and 3,877 feet long.
French President Emmanuel Macron said his country is ready to send help.
"Our thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and all the Italian people," Macron tweeted. "France is on the side of Italy in this tragedy and stands ready to provide all the necessary support."