ITV News criticised over 'inappropriate' coverage of Genoa bridge collapse

Harriet Agerholm

ITV News has been criticised for a news presenter's "crass" and "inappropriate" introduction to a report on the deadly collapse of a bridge in Italy.

At least 39 people were killed on Tuesday after the Morandi motorway bridge gave way in Genoa, northern Italy. Rescuers continued to search the rubble on Wednesday, but said there was little hope of finding any survivors.

Opening a report on the disaster, newsreader Tom Bradby said: “How often have all of us driven over a motorway bridge? Has it ever crossed your mind that it might actually fall down beneath you?

Rescuers search the crumbled hulk of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, on Wednesday (ANSA via AP)

“Well today, in Genoa, one did, with devastating consequences.”

Both ITV and the newsreader came under fire on Twitter for the comments.

“Anybody else think the way this was reported on by ITV was a touch crass? #genoabridge #Genoa @itvnews,” one user said.

Another commented: “Really dislike how the headline about the Genoa bridge collapse has been reported on the News at Ten ... really distasteful & sensational...shame ITV!”

One Twitter user said: "Wow! What a dreadful intro on ITV News about the Genoa disaster. Jaw-droppingly lacking in tact."

Another wrote: "Really dislike how the headline about the the Genoa bridge collapse has been reported on the News at Ten... really distasteful and sensational... shame ITV."

Critics also called Mr Bradby’s remarks “completely inappropriate” and “an insult to those involved”, while one compared the segment to Chris Morris’s epochal satirical TV shows The Day Today and Brass Eye, which parodies sensationalist news culture.

An ITV News spokesperson said: “We always listen to feedback from our viewers and will continue to do so across all our programmes.”

The bridge collapse, in which almost 40 vehicles fell 45m, has left at least three children dead. Some 16 people are being treated in hospital, with 12 in a serious condition.

Some of the victims named in Italian media include a couple and their young son, an amateur footballer and two municipal employees working under the structure when it came down. Chilean and French nationals are among the dead.