The Associated Press GENOA, Italy (AP) — A spectacular planned explosion on Friday knocked down the remaining spans and supporting pillars of the Italian bridge that collapsed last year with the loss of 43 lives.
The blast in Genoa at 9:37 a.m. triggered a huge cloud of grayish dust as the pillars and roadbed leaned inward, then crumbled like a sandcastle.
In a few seconds, the Morandi Bridge was history, with debris falling into the riverbed under what had been a key link between the high-speed highway leading to the French Riviera and another highway linking Genoa, a major port city, to Milan.
Minutes before the blast, sirens sounded a final warning. About 3,500 people who live nearby had been evacuated as a precaution on Thursday and before dawn Friday. Before leaving, many had covered windows and doors with plastic sheeting in a bid to prevent dust from infiltrating their homes.