SOUTH AFRICA EXTENDS CONDOLENCES TO ITALY OVER BRIDGE TRAGEDY

PRETORIA-- The government of South Africa has sent a message of condolence to Italy following the collapse of the Morandi motorway bridge in the north-western Italian city of Genoa.

In a statement here Thursday, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) expressed condolences to the Italian government and people, and the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

The bridge collapsed shortly before noon on Tuesday while some 30 cars and five heavy trucks were passing through. Morandi bridge is part of the A10 highway, a key highway linking the northern Italian regions of Liguria, Lombardy and Piedmont.

Police reports indicated that the 51-year-old bridge collapsed during violent storms pounding the area, with winds gusting as much as 60 kilometres per hour.

The death toll of the accident has risen to 39 people, Italian media reported.

DIRCO confirmed that there has been no report of South African citizens affected by the disaster.

The South African Embassy in Italy is monitoring developments and stands ready in the event that any South African citizen comes forward with a request for assistance.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK