'Immense tragedy': Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy

'Immense tragedy': Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy

The elevated motorway collapse in northern Italy appears to be "an vast tragedy", Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said on Tuesday, just before a local news agency reported "dozens" dead.

The disaster occurred on a highway that connects Italy to France and other vacation resorts on the eve of a major Italian holiday, Ferragosto meaning traffic would have been heavier than usual as many Italians traveled to beaches or mountains.

Italy's transport minister has described the incident as "an huge tragedy".

Firefighters have said that there are concerns about gas lines.

This photo released by Italian firefighters shows a truck stopped where the highway bridge collapsed in Genoa on August 14, 2018.

The moment shocked residents who can be heard in the video screaming "Oh my God".

A fire service spokesperson told AFP that the bridge had mostly fallen on rail tracks 100 metres (yards) below and that "cars and trucks" had fallen with the rubble.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said some 200 firefighters were responding to the accident.

Dozens of people were killed when the bridge collapsed.

The bridge, built in the 1960s, is known as the Morandi bridge.

The bridge is a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 highway that goes toward France and the A7 highway that continues north toward Milan.

It is now unclear what caused the collapse, however officials believe it may have been down to a structural weakness.