"I was at home and all the buildings were shaking, worse than in a huge quake", said 86-year-old Pasquale Ranieri, who lives in a five-storey building under the Morandi bridge. By Wednesday, they all had been evacuated by authorities.
"I'm following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an vast tragedy", transport and infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter. But he says ultimately their apartments might have to be destroyed.
"The top management of Autostrade per l'Italia must step down first of all", Toninelli said in a Facebook post. Atlantia closed down 5.4 percent on Tuesday, burning 1.1 billion euros in capital. Officials said no warehouse personnel were inside, since it was closed for summer holidays.
Drone footage has captured the harrowing aftermath of a bridge collapse in Genoa, as rescue efforts continued into the night in the hope of finding more survivors.
A lorry driver had a miraculous escape after coming to a stop just before the edge of the bridge collapse.
"I live nearby and I cross the bridge every day on foot", said Ibou Toure, 23, a translator. "The vehicle in front of me disappeared, it seemed like it had been eaten by the clouds". I backed up a little, leaving space for other cars.
"I looked up, I saw the bridge pillar collapse".
Engineers are now warning that much of Italy's post-War infrastructure, built using similar techniques to that employed in the construction of the Morandi bridge, is in urgent need of renovation.
The government said it meant to revoke the contract of Autostrade per l'Italia, a private sector company owned by Atlantia, and slap it with a fine of 150 million euros ($170 million).
The despair of the city, and the nation, was rapidly turning to anger on Wednesday.
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Witnesses described seeing a group of men acting like "football hooligans" and dialled 999. He told police: "Because he was abusing my two friends for being gay".
- This entry corrects the spelling of the Benetton group.
At least 39 people have so far died in the tragic accident, according to the latest figures from the local government in Genoa.
Otherwise "none of us would have driven over that highway 20 times a month as we do", Cozzi said. The collapse sent dozens of vehicles plunging into the depths below.
Thankfully, it was a public holiday on Wednesday in Genoa, which meant that the area below the highway was nearly empty when Tuesday's disaster struck. The Italian and the European Union flags will fly at half-staff on municipal buildings on Wednesday and Thursday, and residents are invited to express their condolences and support for the victims and their families, the mayor's office said.
The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa, Italy, Aug. 14, 2018.
Francis said: "I am especially thinking of all those tried by the tragedy in Genoa yesterday, which caused victims and a sense of loss in the population".
Now nearly 40 of those people are known to have been victims of this week's disaster.
On Tuesday specialist engineering website "Ingegneri.info" published a piece that highlighted how the bridge had always presented "structural doubts", calling it "a tragedy waiting to happen". It said on Tuesday, after the collapse, that maintenance work was underway to fortify the structure, but that "work and the status of the viaduct were subject to constant observation and supervision".
Davida Di Giorgio shot the video on his cell phone which captured the moment of the collapse. Three French citizens and two Albanians were also killed.
Hundreds of thousands of Albanians have moved to Italy seeking better lives following the collapse of the communist regime in the tiny western Balkan country. The death toll is likely to rise as multiple people remain missing. At least two more were pulled out. He is now reported to be in a state of shock and is not giving interviews. He said 13 people had been hospitalised, including five in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, investigators were also working to determine what caused an 80-meter (260-foot) long stretch of highway to break off from the 45-meter (150 foot) high bridge in the northwestern port city. There had been proposals to upgrade the 1967 bridge.