December 10, 2019 / 10:52 AM / a month ago

Italian police search Atlantia unit offices, widen Genoa bridge probe

FILE PHOTO: General view of Morandi Bridge, before controlled explosions will demolish two of its pylons almost one year since a section of the viaduct collapsed killing 43 people, in Genoa, Italy June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian tax police searched offices of Atlantia’s toll roads unit on Tuesday and said they were opening a new line of investigation into motorway safety barriers following last year’s deadly collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa.

Police in Genoa searched the offices of Autostrade per l’Italia as well as two other Atlantia units, SPEA Engineering and Pavimental, for technical and other documents as well as administrative and accounting material.

The tax police said they were opening a new strand into their existing investigation of the group, focusing on the safety of so-called Integautos security and anti-noise barriers.

Atlantia and its subsidiaries declined to comment.

The crimes alleged by prosecutors in the new investigation are failure to guarantee safety of transport and fraud in public procurement, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The source added that prosecutors had put under investigation five executives of Autostrade per l’Italia and SPEA who were already involved in the other two probes over the motorway bridges.

This latest investigation started after months ago two anti-noise barriers fell on the motorway near Sestri Levante, a small town on the coast, east of Genoa.

Reporting by Emilio Parodi and James MacKenzie, Editing by Louise Heavens

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