‘Laceration in the Heart of Genoa’: Italy Holds State Funeral for Victims of Bridge Collapse
ROME &mdash Italy mourned these killed in the collapse of a bridge in the northern city of Genoa with a state funeral on Saturday as the country struggled to come to terms with a tragedy that critics say could have been avoided, and as some families of the victims boycotted the event.
Flags flew at half-employees across the country on a day of national mourning stores shut their doors or draped black ribbons on their windows, and a solemn ceremony was held in Genoa for 19 victims of the Aug. 14 collapse. On Saturday, the death toll stood at 39, with 10 men and women still in the hospital, six in critical condition.
The households of some victims shunned the funeral ceremony to protest what they saw as a nation that had betrayed their loved ones by not making certain their safety.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the archbishop of Genoa, who led the funeral ceremony, stated in his homily that the collapse &ldquocaused a laceration in the heart of Genoa.&rdquo
&ldquoThe wound is deep, created above all by the boundless discomfort for those who have lost their lives and for the missing, for their family members members, the wounded, the many who have lost their home,&rdquo he said.
The Mass was presented in an immense pavilion that normally holds element of Genoa&rsquos trade fair, a single of the city&rsquos principal commercial activities. The collapse of the bridge, a main artery connecting the eastern and western components of the city, has place Genoa&rsquos economy at serious danger.
The ceremony, which was broadcast reside on Italian tv stations, was interrupted by applause when Cardinal Bagnasco study the very first name of every single confirmed victim. Most had been Italian, but other folks have been Albanian, Chilean or French.
Dozens of firefighters attended the ceremony, and their presence was met with applause and handshakes, an acknowledgment of their tireless efforts &mdash far more than 100 uninterrupted hours &mdash to aid the dead and wounded. T
The funeral followed the Roman Catholic ritual, but the families of two Muslim victims were present, and an imam led a prayer after the Catholic rite.
He prayed that Genoa, &ldquoour Genoa,&rdquo &ldquobeautiful Genoa,&rdquo would be in a position to &ldquolift itself up.&rdquo
Cardinal Bagnasco spoke of suffering, and the solidarity that the city had shown and received.
&ldquoThe highway that collapsed, as is known, was not just an important piece of highway, but a required route for the every day life of many, an vital artery for the improvement of the city,&rdquo the cardinal stated.
He asked the city not to give up. &ldquoWe can develop new bridges and walk with each other,&rdquo he stated.
In contrast, tempers flared on Friday in Torre del Greco, near Naples, at the funeral of 4 young guys, four friends in their 20s, who had died while on the way to Barcelona, Spain.
&ldquoWhy did they die,&rdquo asked Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the archbishop of Naples, who presided over the ceremony. &ldquoSome say this is the moment of suffering and mourning and we shouldn&rsquot feel about the causes and responsibilities,&rdquo the cardinal said in his homily. But he added, &ldquoIt&rsquos not appropriate to die due to the fact of negligence, carelessness, irresponsibility, superficiality, bureaucracy or boredom.&rdquo
Outdoors the church, pals of the young guys hoisted a bedsheet scrawled with a condemnation: &ldquoThere is no forgiveness with no justice.&rdquo
&ldquoMy son didn&rsquot die he was killed, along with the others, all of them,&rdquo Roberto Battiloro, the father of one victim, told reporters just before the funeral.
Calling the deaths &ldquoabsurd,&rdquo he told reporters that he would not rest till those accountable for the collapse of the bridge have been discovered.
Rescue workers, meanwhile, continued their search on Saturday for the missing, digging through the rubble. An official at Genoa&rsquos prefecture mentioned that a automobile located had been identified and linked to a automobile that belonged to a loved ones of 3, but that the bodies had not been located. Yet another person listed among the missing had contacted relatives, the official stated, calling it &ldquothe only good news.&rdquo
The physique of an unidentified male victim was discovered on Saturday afternoon, another official stated. He could not say no matter whether it belonged to Mirko Vicini, 30, who had worked in a warehouse that was partly crushed by the debris. The Milan day-to-day newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday that Mr. Vicini&rsquos mother had not moved from the internet site of the collapse given that Tuesday.
Luca Cari, a spokesman for Italy&rsquos firefighters, stated that their function would continue &ldquountil all the rubble have been cleared.&rdquo Only then would they be specific that no one particular else had been killed by falling debris.
Some of Italy&rsquos top officials, which includes President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, also attended the state funeral on Saturday.
Prior to the ceremony, Mr. Mattarella spoke to the families of the victims, huddled along a line of dark coffins. At the center was the tiny, white coffin of Samuele Robbiano, 8, who died with his parents on the way to catch a ferry to Sardinia.
&ldquoThis tragedy that involved our entire nation is unacceptable,&rdquo Mr. Mattarella stated right after the funeral. He added that he had pledged to help the families of the victims, the injured and the homeless to locate the causes of the collapse &ldquorigorously and speedily&rdquo and to make certain the security of Italy&rsquos roads and transportation.
The government mentioned on Friday that it would produce a national databank to decide the state of all national infrastructure and that the Transportation Ministry would improve its oversight solutions. The organizations accountable for carrying out repairs and maintenance would also be essential to present detailed maintenance plans, and to invest greater sums if essential.
The government also started a formal procedure to revoke the concession held by Autostrade per l&rsquoItalia, which had been accountable for sustaining the highway that included the Genoa bridge.
In a statement, the government stated that it held Autostrade responsible for the &ldquograve disaster&rdquo because it had the &ldquoobligation to look right after the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the highway.&rdquo
The government said Autostrade had 15 days to present its defense.
Published at Sat, 18 Aug 2018 15:59:16 +0000