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Italy motorway operator chief faces jail for bus crash

Autostrade Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci, pictured August 2018, is one of 12 Autostrade officials who proscutors say should serve 10 years in jail for his negligence in infrastructure upkeep © AFP / Piero CRUCIATTI

Rome, Italy, Oct 10 – Italian prosecutors called Wednesday for the head of the country’s beleaguered Autostrade motorway operator to serve 10 years in jail for a bus crash in 2013 in which 40 people died.

The tourist bus, which was carrying around 50 people, rammed several cars after failing to brake on a bend near Avellino in southern Italy.

It then smashed through the safety rail of a viaduct and plunged into the void, falling some 30 metres (100 feet).

The prosecutors said chief Giovanni Castellucci and 11 other Autostrade (ASPI) employees should get 10 years for failing to upkeep the rail.

The US-imported Jersey concrete barrier, corroded by salt used to keep the road ice-free in winter months, shattered on impact, leaving the bus to sail over the edge in one of Europe’s worst road accidents.

Autostrade was responsible for the upkeep of Morandi Bridge, whose collapse killed 43 people in August 2018 © AFP/File / MARCO BERTORELLO

Autostrade, which runs almost half of Italy’s motorway network, has come under huge pressure since a bridge it maintained in Genoa collapsed in August, killing 43 people.

Castellucci is under investigation for the collapse of the Morandi bridge, which had suffered from structural problems for decades, prompting severe criticism from engineering experts.


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