Genoa bridge collapse: Victims' families blame former government at state funeral

Alix Culbertson, news reporter

Members of Italy's former government were jeered by the families of victims of the Genoa bridge collapse as four more bodies were found on Saturday.

There were shouts of "buffone" - clown - and "vergogna" - shame on you - as former minister and current Democratic Party secretary Maurizio Martina and Italy's former defence minister Roberta Pinotti arrived at the state funeral in the northwestern Italian city.

Some families blame the former leaders for the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, which killed dozens on Tuesday.

Genoa's Catholic archbishop Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, leading the funeral, said the city has "had its heart torn out".

A Romanian man died in hospital on Saturday and four more bodies were discovered in the rubble by rescuers, bringing the total dead to 43.

A family of three - two parents and their nine-year-old daughter - were found overnight in their Hyundai car which had been crushed by a concrete block, the ANSA news agency reported.

Another body was pulled out of the rubble, rescuers said, with reports describing him as 30-year-old man.

While relatives of 19 victims agreed to have the funerals of their loved ones at the city's trade and convention centre, others refused, as they blamed the state for failing to ensure the bridge was safe.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered outside a church in Naples for the funeral of four friends in their early 20s who were killed while on the bridge on a road trip to Nice and Barcelona.

A white banner said "there is no forgiveness without justice" as Roberto Battiloro, father of victim Giovanni Battiloro, said: "The state has not protected its citizens.

"From tomorrow the ones linked to my son's death will be a battle to find the culprits of the death of John, his friends and all the dead."

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At the state funeral, families cheered as a group of firefighters and rescuers entered the hall.

There were also cheers for Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his deputy Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League party, and for President Sergio Mattarella, who spoke to each family during the service.

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Cardinal Bagnasco said the city has "had its heart torn out" as he blessed every coffin, including a small white one belonging to the youngest victim, an eight-year-old boy who died alongside his parents.

Out of respect for two victims from Albania, who were Muslim but whose families wanted them to be part of the service, a local imam also said some Islamic prayers.

Cardinal Bagnasco told mourners that Pope Francis had called him on Friday evening and let him know he is praying for the dead and those suffering.

Genoa's archbishop called for solidarity to build "new bridges to walk together" in a spiritual sense.

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Players and coaches from Genoa's two main football teams, Sampdoria and Genoa, also attended the funeral, with their games suspended today out of respect.

The bosses of Autostrade per l'Italia, which runs the bridge and has come under heavy criticism, Giovanni Castellucci and Fabio Cerchi also attended the funeral ahead of a press conference later.

It will be the company's first public appearance since the disaster.

Italy's president visited the collapse site on Saturday morning before the funeral, where he spoke to rescuers who are still searching the rubble.

All people on the missing list have now been accounted for, the Civil Protection said, but there were warnings some have not been reported missing, including homeless people.

An elderly German man who was on the list was taken off after he called the local government on Saturday to say he was not in Genoa on Tuesday.