Collapse of Morandi bridge in Genoa in 2018

Former ASPI exec knew of Morandi bridge collapse risk

By Region News North-west Italy

A former executive for highways company ASPI told the Morandi bridge trial he knew there was a risk of collapse years before it happened. The incident claimed 43 lives in Genoa on August 14, 2018.

Gianni Mion, the former CEO of Benetton family holding company Edizione and a former member of the boards of ASPI and its ex-parent company Atlantia, said the issue was raised at a meeting in 2010.

He said former ASPI CEO Giovanni Castellucci, ex General Manager Riccardo Mollo and the late Gilberto Benetton were among the people who took part in the meeting. Also present were officials from ASPI’s maintenance arm SPEA.

“It emerged the bridge had an original design defect and that there was a collapse risk,” Mion said. “I asked if someone could certify its safety and Riccardo Mollo replied ‘there’s the self-certification’.

“I didn’t say anything and I worried about it.

“It was simple: either you closed it or an external (body) certified it.

 “I didn’t do anything and it is my greatest regret”.

Morandi Bridge trial

In total, 59 people are on trial. They include the former heads and technical officials of ASPI and SPEA, former and current transport ministry managers and other civil servants.

The charges range from culpable failure to comply with one’s duty for workplace safety to multiple culpable homicide.

ASPI and SPEA made a plea bargain to pay damages of around €30 million. They are no longer involved in the trial as a result.

The remains of the Morandi bridge were demolished. Another viaduct designed by Genoese architect Renzo Piano opened in August 2020 to take its place.

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