The Venice bridge from where a tourist bus fell into the void on Tuesday evening, killing 21 people, was dilapidated and had to be renovated for years, including to plug a “breach” in the safety rail, it was announced on Thursday October 5, the deputy mayor of Venice in charge of transport, Renato Boraso, in several interviews with the Italian press.

A project to renovate this bridge, built around fifty years ago, was launched in 2016, but work began only in September and had not yet reached the portion of the bridge where the tragedy occurred, a -he clarified.

The electric bus, which was bringing around forty foreign tourists from the historic center to their campsite, hit the safety rail, against which it rolled for several meters before entering a 1.5 meter “breach” and destroying a second barrier, ending 10 meters below, near a railway line, according to media reconstructions.

21 dead and 15 injured

The precise circumstances of the accident are not yet known, even if the preferred hypothesis is that the driver was unwell. “The 2 meters without a barrier, that’s how the bus fell,” summarizes the daily Il Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa denounces “the safety rail scandal.”

“These barriers are not up to standard according to current legislation, but they were when they were designed. The gaps would have been plugged next year thanks to the work already decided, Renato Boraso defended himself in the press. I am opposed to making our services look like assassins. »

“Since 2016, our services have been repairing this section of the safety rail,” he said, specifying that “we cannot award work worth seven million euros without making a call for tenders”. “Let’s ask ourselves why in Italy a procedure for carrying out work must be so long,” he concluded. “The work, which began in September, reached up to 400 meters” from where the bus rushed, he said.

The death toll from the tragedy stands at 21 dead and 15 injured, including 5 people in serious condition. In addition to the Italian driver, 9 Ukrainians, 4 Romanians, 3 Germans, 2 Portuguese, as well as a Croatian and a South African died.