A 260-metre-long bridge on a normally busy provincial road in Tuscany, northern Italy, completely collapsed last week, but only two truck drivers suffered minor injuries because the coronavirus lockdown had kept motorists at home.
The Albiano Magra bridge on the SS330 road near Aulla municipality gave way at around 10.25am local time on Wednesday, 8 April, reports Reuters.
In response, the president of Tuscany Region, Enrico Rossi, damned the state of Italy’s infrastructure.
"Even if there are no victims … the collapse of the Albiano Magra bridge could have been a tragedy if we had had the traffic of ordinary days," he said in a statement later in the day.
Rossi said it was "yet another demonstration" of decaying infrastructure, after the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa in August 2018, which killed 43 people.
"When we realise that we are coming from a decade in which public investment has been halved, and which in turn has followed a decade in which there has already been a halving, we will begin to understand the need to really make a change in public intervention," Rossi said.
He called on the operator of the bridge, Anas, a subsidiary of state-linked Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, to "clarify and rebuild quickly".
"We are baffled," said Tuscany Region’s councillor for transport, Vincenzo Ceccarelli. "It is difficult to comment on what happened. First of all, we want to express all our closeness to those who remained involved in the collapse. Solutions to identify an alternative local road system in order to exclude isolated areas are already being studied."
According to Reuters, the bridge dated to 1908 and was rebuilt after the Second World War.
Image: The collapsed Albiano Magra bridge in Tuscany, Italy, 8 April 2020 (Giunta Regionale Toscana Agenzia di informazione)