A large section of a bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed Tuesday during a storm, sending cars and trucks plummeting nearly 150 feet and raining massive chunks of concrete onto the buildings below.
At least 25 people have been killed and several more injured, and the death toll could rise. Two people were reportedly pulled from the rubble alive and transported to a local hospital. More than 280 fire brigades and rescue teams are on site, trying to find survivors.
The Morandi Bridge, built in the late 1960s, is on a main highway that connects Italy with France. It spans a river and a large section of the northern Italian port city of Genoa, rising above densely packed warehouses, railroad tracks, and industrial buildings.
The collapse occurred on the eve of a major holiday in Italy, Ferragosto, when Roman Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. (Catholics believe Mary, the mother of Jesus, ascended to heaven “body and soul” after her life on earth ended.)
As the Italian news site the Local explains, the holiday “marks the semi-official start of Italy’s summer holiday season.” As a result, traffic on the bridge was likely busier than normal. The highway also connects central Genoa with the Genoa airport and resort towns on the Italian coast.
The bridge collapsed around noon local time. Just a few minutes before the collapse, an automated weather reporting station near the bridge recorded heavy rain and winds at around 36 miles per hour, CNN reports.
It’s still unclear what caused the 260-foot section of the bridge to collapse. Restructuring work on the bridge was carried out in 2016, and repair work “to shore up the foundation of the bridge” was apparently going on at the time of the accident.
Here are some of the astounding photos of the bridge and the collapse.