Fire destroys section of historic bridge in Rome

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A massive fire broke out after part of a historic bridge in Rome caught fire overnight on Saturday.

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The Iron Bridge, also known as the Udyog Bridge, which spans the Tiber River, is believed to have caught fire following a possible gas canister explosion.

Part of the famous 19th century bridge, which is 131 meters long, fell into the river.


Firefighters said the fire started near the Ostiense neighborhood just before midnight on Saturday and had extinguished the fire by 4 a.m. on Sunday.

No casualties were reported but three nearby nightclubs have been evacuated as a precaution.

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The fire appears to have started in an area of ​​shanties occupied by homeless people along the river. Several years ago another fire also broke out in the huts.

The bridge, which was opened in 1863 and formally named Ponte dell’ Industrie (Industry Bridge), connects the densely populated Ostiense and Portuenes neighborhoods.

The fire broke out on the eve of the election of the next mayor, with the main issue being the general decay of infrastructure and public services in the Italian capital.

The Romans called the bridge “Ponte de Ferro” (Iron Bridge), because most of the other bridges in the city are made of stone.

The bridge is now too dangerous to use and boats are banned from passing under it until the span can be repaired.

The structure was originally built to serve trains but was later converted for foot traffic and cars.

Additional reporting by agencies


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