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Weak infrastructure? Swiss investigate cause of deadly bridge collapse

Scientists at a specialist lab in Switzerland are trying to determine why a bridge collapsed in the Italian port of Genoa in August this year, killing 43 people. The Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology, Empaexternal link, is studying parts of the Morandi motorway bridge.

In the past, the laboratory has investigated other cases of infrastructure weaknesses, such as the Uster indoor swimming pool in 1985 or the collapse of the gymnasium roof at the St Gallen professional school in 2009. 

Italian prosecutors have focused their investigation on possible design flaws or inadequate maintenance of the bridge that opened in 1967. The Swiss have yet to give their opinion, but international experts have weighed in, saying that the structure may have suffered wear and tear from weather and pollution, and traffic that surpassed what the bridge was originally built to sustain.

The Swiss experts are expected to present their conclusions to the Italian courts within the next few weeks. (SRF/ 

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