Photo Credit: Salvatore 1991 / Wikimedia
The Holy Ghost Anglican Church in Genoa says that its members living near the site of a collapsed motorway bridge have all been reported safe. But it says that “there is a concern for all who are bereaved, injured or missing.” At least 39 people were killed when a section of the 1,102-metre-long (3,615 ft) Ponte Morandi collapsed. Around 20 people are still thought to be missing as rescuers continue to search the Polcevera river, the Genoa to Turin and Milan railway lines, and the Ansaldo Energia industrial area below the bridge.
The 45-metre-high (148 ft) concrete and steel bridge was constructed in the 1960s to carry traffic between France to Italy on the A8/A10 motorways. The road is part of the wider E80 trans-European route from Lisbon in Portugal in the west to Gürbulak, on the Turkey/Iran border in the east. The local Roman Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, will conduct a state funeral for the victims tomorrow (Saturday) – which has been designated a day of national mourning in Italy.
On its Facebook page, the Church and Friends of the Holy Ghost, Genoa, offer their “Prayers for all caught up in the collapse of the bridge.” They ask their followers to “please remember those who were killed, and the survivors, and pray for their families and friends. Give thanks for the work of the emergency services and those making the rest of the structure safe (and pray for their safety). Give thanks, too, that those members of our congregation who live nearby are reported to be safe.”
Later, they added: “Thank you all for thoughts and prayers. Please continue them. So far as we know, members of the congregation who live in that part of Genoa are all safe, but there is a concern for all who are bereaved, injured or missing. Please pray for the safety of the emergency service personnel still . . . searching for survivors amid the wreckage.”
On its website, the Church says: “we thank all of you who have reached out to our congregation and city with your messages and prayers following the tragic collapse of the Morandi motorway bridge.”
One of those to do so was the Church of England’s Suffragan Bishop in Europe, David Hamid, who broke off from his annual leave to send a message to the parish priest, Canon Tony Dickinson. “It is certain to affect huge numbers of people – a sudden moment which will change so many lives,” he said. “Please be assured of the prayers of the people of the diocese at this time.
“We pray to the Lord for all who have lost their lives so suddenly and we pray that God’s mercy, comfort and healing will be with all who are injured and with those who will be grieving, and that God’s strength will sustain the members of the emergency services and those who are attending to the needs of all who are suffering and affected by this accident.
“I am sure that you and the members of Holy Ghost parish will be anxiously seeking assurance of the safety of your own members and loved ones. Your brothers and sisters in Christ send our love and we pray that God, our refuge and strength, will be with you and the community and especially with those whose lives are affected by this tragedy.”