Images of the Morandi bridge before it collapsed in the Italian city of Genoa reveal dire warning signs of its impending collapse.
It was a tragedy waiting to happen when the bridge collapsed, killing at least 39 people on Tuesday (local time). With a long-questioned design, there had been numerous plans to demolish and replace it - but cost got in the way, so they decided to repair it.
Now, images reveal a shoddy repair job to the bridge was undertaken by authorities instead of addressing concerning structural issues. With the death toll rising, politicians are demanding answers about the bridge, which opened to much fanfare in 1967.
The revealing images of the 45m-high bridge taken before it caved in show black patches believed to be spot repairs to the concrete structure. It underwent repairs in 2016 and some work was being done on the foundations, despite warnings it needed to be replaced.
Morandi Bridge is now the fifth to collapse in Italy in five years, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The Prime Minister visited the scene, calling it an immense tragedy and promising far stricter maintenance of Italy's aging infrastructure.
But the state of the bridge was discussed at a public hearing in December 2012, BBC reports, and a local industry official predicted it could collapse "in 10 years".
An Italian engineering professor, Antonio Brenich, also warned two years ago that the bridge was "wrong" and needed to be rebuilt, news.com.au reports.
The associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Genoa said maintenance costs would have been "so exorbitant that it would be cheaper to build a new one".
"The Morandi Bridge is referred to as a masterpiece of engineering. In reality it is a bankruptcy," he said in an interview with Italian TV channel primocanale.it. "That bridge is wrong. Sooner or later it will have to be replaced."
The search for survivors continues among the three areas where debris from 200m of the bridge came crashing down.