Former Cagliari goalkeeper Davide Capello survives 30m fall at Genoa bridge collapse

The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa Italy

Angelo Borrelli, head of the Civil Protection service which manages disaster areas, told reporters in Rome that an additional 13 people had been injured.

The Morandi bridge carries a major road, the A10 toll motorway, which serves the Italian Riviera and links northern Italy to France.

Rescue workers combed through the rubble of Italy's bridge collapse on Wednesday as the death toll climbed to 37 and the government blamed the bridge's private owner, demanding resignations and moving to strip its toll concession.

While that remained the official death toll, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said from Genoa that the number would rise.

At least 26 people were killed in the collapse, the New York Times reported.

More than 30 vehicles crashed to the ground when the suspension bridge failed during a storm on Tuesday.

More than 400 people were evacuated from buildings near or below the still-standing section of the bridge. So far, 16 people have been hospitalised, including 10 in critical condition, the agency said.

Genoa is located between the sea and the mountains of northwestern Italy.

Asked about the collapse on a live broadcast, Mr Salvini responded: "We should ask ourselves whether respecting these (budget) limits is more important than the safety of Italian citizens".

The government has already pledged to increase public investment and lobby the European Commission to have the extra spending excluded from EU deficit calculations.

"Italians have the right to modern and efficient infrastructure that accompanies them safely through their everyday lives", Mattarella said in a statement. "It was really an apocalyptic scene, I couldn't believe my eyes", he said.

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About 250 firefighters from across Italy are taking part in the rescue operation, using sniffer dogs and climbing gear.

"I was driving along the bridge, and at a certain point I saw the road in front of me collapse, and I went down with the auto", he told TV news channel Sky TG24.

"Our infrastructure is aging at a point where we have structurally deficient bridges that we know about... depending on the environment you can have components corrode".

"Autostrade per l'Italia's top management must resign", Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said Wednesday in a post on Facebook.

He said: "The collapse was unexpected and unpredictable".

A representative of the motorway's operator, Autostrade, told Reuters there had been "no reason to consider the bridge was dangerous".

He said there had been no indication that the bridge was unsafe.

The tender provided for a strengthening of the bridge's pier cables, including those of pier nine, the one that collapsed on Tuesday.

Antonio Brencich, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Genoa, raised concerns about the structure of the bridge in an interview in 2016.

"There will be a time when maintenance costs will exceed those of reconstruction, and then we will have to proceed with the replacement".

However, locals say that the bridge has had problems for years, and that it was often attended to by repair crews, but the fixes were never long-lasting, and many in Genoa had petitioned the authorities to replace it.

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