In August of 2018, an 800-foot section of Genoa, Italy's Ponte Morandi Bridge collapsed, killing 43 people. Two survivors reflect on the event.
Survivors Recount Bridge Collapse in Genoa, Italy
Published: October 16, 2019
Onscreen: On August 14, 2018, something terrible happened to the Polcevera Bridge in Genoa, Italy.
Witness: (Translated from Italian) Oh, God! Oh, God!
Narrator: A massive 800-foot section of the bridge, carrying four lanes of traffic, collapses. Gianluca’s truck plummets 100 feet.
Gianluca Ardini: (Translated from Italian) I felt that I had landed, that I had arrived. I wasn’t moving anymore. I turn and see my colleague with his head on the wheel. At that moment I thought he had fainted or something. When I heard the sirens I touched him and said, “Come on. Let’s get rescued.”
But I got no reply, and I realized he wasn’t alive.
Narrator: Twenty-seven vehicles fall with the bridge.
This is Davide Capello’s S.U.V. It falls 130 feet and lands inside a cavity formed by a section of the bridge.
Davide Capello: (Translated from Italian) I got out of my car myself, climbed over the debris and got to a safe area. It looked like the apocalypse.
Narrator: Across from Davide’s car, trapped inside the remains of the collapsed bridge tower, rescuers make a shocking discovery. Hanging inside this truck is Gianluca Ardini.
Ardini: (Translated from Italian) I was screaming and screaming in order to get found. And I could feel the truck moving, and I panicked again, as I thought, “Man, what if it falls?”
Narrator: Firefighters begin the precarious job of rescuing him from the mangled cab. It takes 40 minutes to cut Gianluca free and carry him to safety.
Why Bridges Collapse
Produced and Directed by: Martin Gorst
Digital Producer: Ana Aceves
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2019