Italian rescuers searched through the night for any survivors under the shattered remains of a motorway bridge in Genoa as investigators probed what could have caused such a catastrophic collapse.
At least 37 people, including a child, were confirmed dead and many more were missing after a vast span of the Morandi bridge collapsed during a heavy rainstorm, sending cars and trucks plunging 45-metres onto railway tracks below.
Rescuers spent the night within the tangled remains of the bridge under floodlights and there were fears the toll could rise in what the Italian government has called an "immense tragedy".
The collapse came as the bridge was undergoing maintenance work and as the Liguria region, where Genoa is situated, experienced torrential rainfall.
Autostrade - the organisation responsible for maintaining Italian motorways - said on Wednesday they had been monitoring the bridge quarterly, as required by law.
"Unfortunately there are around 30 dead and many injured in a serious condition," Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday, vowing that those responsible would "pay, pay everything, and pay dearly".
Genoa motorway collapse: Death toll rises in 'immense tragedy' in Italian city