Italian prosecutors prepare potential charges from Genoa bridge probe

  • The disaster blamed the broken ninth pole cable.
  • Autostrade, SPEA and 69 people involved, Probe said.
  • No ninth pole cable maintenance in 51 years.

MILAN, April 22 (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors are preparing potential allegations against dozens of former employees of the Atlantia Infrastructure Group (ATLANT.O) after concluding an investigation into the collapsed motorway bridge. In 2018, documents filed by prosecutors on Thursday showed

Past and current government officials could be charged in the investigation, the document says.

A road bridge operated by Autostrade per l’Italia, the Atlantia motorway unit, collapses in the northern city of Genoa on Aug. 14, 2018, killing 43 people and revealing collapsed infrastructure. Crash of Italy in dire conditions

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In a document about the probe’s findings seen by Reuters Prosecutors said the collapse was caused by a rupture of a load-bearing cable inside the bridge’s ninth pillar. which has been highly eroded by the atmosphere over the past 51 years. The life of the bridge

The managers of the Atlantia Autostrade per l’Italia and SPEA units were accused of evading proper due diligence on the infrastructure. And it doesn’t address a serious problem that began to emerge just a few years after the bridge opened in 1967, the documents show.

“In the 51 years of the bridge’s life Not a single maintenance was performed to strengthen the Ninth Pillar,” the document states.

Between 1982 and its collapse in 2018, structural work on the overpass cost 24.6 million euros, and Autostrade paid less than 2% of all work.

The situation “cannot be proven lacking the necessary financial resources at Autostrade,” prosecutors said, adding that the company ended each year between 1999 and 2005.

The document states that Autostrade’s annual net income was at least 586 million euros between 2005 and 2017, when the company distributes 80% or more of its profits to its shareholders.

During a two-and-a-half-year investigation, Genoa prosecutors notified 69 people, including former Atlantia chief executive Giovanni Castellucci and former Atlan’s SPEA engineering chief. TIA SPEA Antonino Galata is under investigation for suspected crime. including willful killings and disasters

Former and current officials at the transport ministry are accused of failing to oversee necessary maintenance, prosecutors said.

under Italian law When the investigation is closed The suspect has three weeks to respond. At that point, prosecutors can seek jurisdiction to prosecute or recommend shelving.

Atlantia, Autostrade and SPEA declined to comment on the issue. Lawyers representing Castellucci and Galata did not comment on the issue.

if confirmed Lack of maintenance on the bridge will “Awkward,” Transport Secretary Giancarlo Cancelleri said in a statement.

Cancelleri also said that “The end of this long and complicated investigation process is an important step towards establishing the truth,” which called for a speedy trial.

Under Italian law, companies can be held liable for the actions of their employees.

Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton family, is in talks with a group of investors led by Italian state lender CDP to sell an 88% stake in Autostrade under a government-sponsored plan to take control of the motorway company.

Castellucci, behind Atlantia’s international expansion, was ousted from the infrastructure group in late 2019 after 13 years in the lead.

Prosecutors in Genoa have launched an investigation into three more cases involving the bridge collapse. in connection with allegations of falsified road safety reports Improper installation of sound suppressors and poor maintenance of road tunnels

Autostrade per l’Italia, which counts Chinese funds Silk Road and Allianz (Allianz) among its investors. It runs half of Italy’s 6,000 km (3,730 miles) toll roads, which generated a significant share of Atlantia’s main revenue before the disaster.

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Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Additional reporting by Francesca Landini; Edited by Jason Neely

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