“Run, run, the bridge is coming down, the bridge is coming down,” shouts a girl, immortalizing everything with her cell phone. It’s Saturday, October 2, just after 11:30 p.m. as a Rome, on the border between the Marconi and Ostiense, which is known as “Iron Bridge begins to crumble shrouded in a cloud of smoke and flames. And the Bridge of Industry, built between 1862 and 1863. From its 131 meters, part of it falls in a few minutes, enveloped by fire, sliding over the reeds and some huts and then getting lost in the current of the river Tiber.
Rome, the bridge of industry on fire
The intervention of the firefighters to tame the pyre and exclude the presence of the wounded. At midnight thirty no people are involved, but operations are all still in progress and will last for hours. The smoke, the strong smell of the fire and a very high percentage of gas made the interventions complicated. Although, despite the proximity of some neighborhoods populated by groups and young people on Saturday evenings, as in the case of via del Porto Fluviale, the final balance is not injured or drunk. To try to extinguish the fire and prevent explosions related to the spread of the gas at the scene with the help of the firefighters, an “Nbcr” vehicle, mostly destined for chemical operations, was also detached.
Now one question remains: what happened? As to the origin of the fire from which part of the collapse subsequently started, the firefighters do not rule out any hypothesis: the most likely is a short circuit from which the first fuse originated or – again – a gas leak that started the fire. The carabinieri are investigating the matter as police, VIII Municipality administrations, center-left mayoral candidate Roberto Gualtieri and outgoing mayor Virginia Raggi, who decided to open the Coc, the Municipal Operations Center, are also on the scene. The entire energy and gas network was blocked. This led to service interruptions for most of the Marconi and Ostiense districts up to Garbatella, which had no electricity, water and gas. In total, at least 180 families live in the area where all services have been interrupted for safety reasons. It will then be necessary to understand how to intervene on the traffic front as well, as both public transport vehicles and private vehicles usually cross the bridge. Meanwhile, the disbelief of hundreds and hundreds of Romans grows on social media, also because that “iron” bridge is a symbol of the capital, a historical place, also found in many movies, because it is a landmark in the once industrial area of the city. “It cramps the heart – notes the outgoing mayor – to see a piece of the city in this way. Starting tomorrow (today ed.) we will work to restore the facilities, we will also try to improve the quality of life in the city. area to reopen”.
— Virginia Kirst (@V_Kirst) October 2, 2021
Photos and videos posted by passers-by and residents who were there at the exact moment of the collapse recount and summarize all the fear that swept through Rome’s night. Direct evidence of a disaster a few hours after the opening of the seats for the renewal of the municipal administration and the fifteen municipalities of the capital. Inevitably, under the accusation of the Romans, the maintenance of the bridge will end, the probable absence of which, if not the cause, is identified as a contributing cause of the accident. «A piece of history has collapsed, as a child I came here with my father who was the agricultural consortium. Today the slowness of those who should have intervened has reduced all our memories to ashes ». The same goes for Adnkronos Massimo, one of the tenants of a building in Via del Porto Fluviale, a stone’s throw from Ponte dell’Industria. By 1 a.m., firefighters had almost completely tamed the flames. Today we continue with another chapter: the analysis of the static nature of the “iron” bridge to exclude further collapses. At the moment it is not possible to say whether the entire structure will have to be demolished to prevent later failures. The entire area will of course remain closed to traffic and pedestrians.
— Baruda (@baruda) October 2, 2021
— Mauro Vetriani (@MauroVetriani) September 24, 2021