ITV news has been blasted for its ‘insensitive’ and ‘heartless’ opening to the Genoa bridge disaster which has now killed at least 35.
News at Ten presenter Tom Bradby provoked Twitter outrage with his delivery on the tragedy during the flagship programme.
He said: ‘How often have all of us driven over a motorway bridge? Has it ever crossed your mind that it might actually fall down beneath you?
‘Well today in Genoa, one did with devastating consequences.’
Twitter users instantly rounded on him, with Al Baker saying: ‘what kind of intro to the Italian disaster was that!
‘Absolutely shocking and heartless journalism.. if not your words then the script writer needs a new job!’
Yesterday a 50-metre (160-foot) high section of the Morandi bridge, including a tower that anchored several stays, crashed down with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it.
The death toll this morning rose to 35 and police say ‘we can’t rule out it could rise further.’
Huge slabs of reinforced concrete plunged onto two warehouses, train tracks and a riverbed.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called it ‘an immense tragedy … inconceivable in a modern system like ours, a modern country’.
However, News at Ten took a more flippant approach to their coverage of the story with one viewer noting on social media ‘The news is not the place for a such a flippant,smug attitude!’
Ann Bell wrote: ‘Thomas Bradby tone introducing the collapse of bridge in Genoa is totally inappropriate. Sounds like he thinks it is funny.’
Niks noted: ‘I am still genuinely confused as to why @tombradby just introduced the @itvnews like it was a prank. People dying in a motorway bridge collapse isn’t light hearted. Where’s the respect?’
Jennifer Keegan tweeted: ‘Most disrespectful and tactless reporting on @itvnews of Genoa road disaster. It’s not an action film, people are dead!!!’
While Graham Smales said: ‘Any sign of an apology from @tombradby @itvnews @NewsAtTen? The sheer arrogance and continued insensitivity is breathtaking. All parties should be ashamed of themselves. #itvnews #tombradby #news #ITV’
The cause of the tragedy remains unknown but attention has fallen to the age of the structure, which was completed in 1967, and a potential weakness of the span.
The civil engineering society in Italy has called for a ‘Marshall Plan’ to repair or replace tens of thousands of bridges in Italy that have surpassed their 50-year lifespans, having been built in the 1950s and 1960s with reinforced concrete.
Genoa has declared two days of mourning for today and tomorrow.
Among the dead are Roberto Robbiano, his wife Ersilia Piccinino, and their seven-year-old son Samuel.
The family from the town of Campomorone north of Genoa were driving across the bridge when it collapsed.
Amateur football player Andrea Cerulli, the father of a young son, was also killed on his way to work.