Search operation ends in Genoa as, death toll rises to 43

A view of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa Italy

Meanwhile, Romanian man Marian Rosca, who was injured in the collapse, died in hospital.

Among the coffins was a small white one for the youngest victim, an eight-year-old boy who was killed alongside his parents.

He encouraged citizens to show solidarity so "we can build new bridges to walk together" and rise above the tragedy. According to the AP, Bagnasco said that Pope Francis called him to express condolences.

A State funeral service is held for the victims of the Morandi Bridge disaster at the Fiera di Genova exhibition centre on August 18, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

The Morandi bridge was a key motorway bypass and its collapse is likely to cause major congestion problems to Genoa, a seaside town of more than 500,000 residents that is Italy's main cargo-handling port.

After three bodies were recovered from a auto crushed under slabs of concrete, the Genoa prefecture raised its official death toll.

Relatives said the family from northern Italy had been driving to catch a ferry for the island of Elba for their vacation. The man's mother had refused to leave a tent set up a few hundred yards away from the rubble until his body was found.

All those listed as missing have now been accounted for, but Stefano Zanut, a fire brigade official, told Sky TG24: "Our work continues in order to have the full certainty that nobody has been left under the rubble". On Thursday authorities said as many as 20 people feared to be near the site of the disaster were still unaccounted for.

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Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli attended the service on the national day of mourning.

The service, which coincides with a national day of mourning, came as firefighters still searching for 5 missing people discovered a vehicle with human remains inside.

Conte also said the government will strengthen monitoring and inspection powers at the Ministry for Infrastructure and would force private motorway operators to invest more of their profits in maintenance and safety.

Autostrade per l'Italia denies the accusations and said it has fulfilled its duties as required, adding that "stabilization" work was being done on the bridge when it collapsed.

At the ceremony, there was applause as a priest read out the names of the dead.

Global reinsurer Swiss Re has today announced its link to the Italian company, Autostrade per I'Italia, which manages the stretch of motorway in Genoa on which a 50-year-old highway bridge collapsed earlier this week, causing nearly 40 fatalities.

Atlantia, the holding company of Autostrade which is 30 percent owned by iconic fashion brand Benetton, has warned that the government would have to refund the value of the contract, which runs until at least 2038.

"Doing the sums we arrive quickly at half a billion euros. these are funds that will be available from Monday", Autostrade per l'Italia chief executive Giovanni Castellucci said at a press conference.

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