A motorway bridge collapsed on Tuesday over the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing dozens of people according to the local ambulance service, in what the transport minister said was likely to be "an immense tragedy".
A section of the bridge crashed down from a height of about 50 metres over a river and some railroad tracks and buildings. (Reuters)
The collapse took place 11:30 AM during torrential rainfall in the region. (AP)
Many people lost their lives and 20 vehicles were involved.
Helicopter footage on social media showed trucks and cars stranded on either side of the roughly 80-metre long collapsed section of the bridge, which was built on the A10 toll motorway in the 1960s.
Rescue workers are seen at the collapsed Morandi Bridge on Tuesday.
This photo released by the Italian firefighters, shows a truck stopped where the bridge collapsed on Tuesday. (Reuters)
The bridge was about 1.2 km long in total and restructuring work on it was carried out in 2016.
The highway operator said work to shore up the foundation of the bridge was being carried out at the time of the collapse, adding that the bridge was constantly monitored.
The highway is a major artery to the Italian Riviera and to France's southern coast. (Reuters)
Train services around Genoa have been halted.
A witness said that he saw eight to nine vehicles on the bridge when it collapsed in what he said was an 'apocalyptic scene'.
The office of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was heading to Genoa in the evening and would remain there on Wednesday.
Defence minister Elisabetta Trenta said the army was ready to offer manpower and vehicles to help with the rescue operations. (Reuters)
Shares in Atlantia, the toll road operator which runs the motorway, were suspended after falling 6.3 percent after news of the collapse.