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Historic bridge fears after Florence collapse

Concerns have been raised over the safety of the covered Medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge in the Italian city of Florence after a section of river wall close to the historic structure collapsed yesterday.

Florence’s fire services has said that the 200m section of the river wall collapsed after a water pipe below the embankment failed in the early hours of 25 May.

According to Florence mayor Dario Nardella, no one was harmed in the incident but around 20 cars are trapped in a subsidence ditch that has formed behind the bowed river wall. Nardella described the situation as complex and said that an investigation into whether water company Publiacqua was to blame.

Local geologist Vittoria Doriano is reported to have told a regional media outlet that the collapse occurred after two blowouts from the water pipe. Local reports suggest that Publiacqua failed to turn off water supplies following the first blow out.

While ground movement appears to have been limited to the 200m section, historians have said that the failure could have a long term impact on the stability of the Ponte Vecchio, which is a key tourist attraction in the city.

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