Italy's Atlantia unit rejects reports of altered safety reports
(Adds quotes, details)
MILAN, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Atlantia's road
maintenance unit SPEA, the company in charge of safety
monitoring on the Genoa bridge which collapsed, has dismissed
media speculation that it altered inspection reports.
Italian daily La Stampa said on Thursday that reports on
several motorway viaducts managed by Atlantia's motorway unit
Autostrade, including the bridge in Genoa, were modified by SPEA
executives to underplay safety risks.
SPEA said in a statement that its technicians had acted
"properly and diligently" in overseeing the motorway network and
their activity was controlled by both internal bodies and
"Speculation saying inspection reports were systematically
'manipulated' to avoid closures or traffic restrictions, or
delay investments, on constantly monitored routes are false,"
SPEA said in a statement.
Last week Italian prosecutors launched an investigation into
the safety reports compiled by SPEA on five viaducts, judicial
There is an additional ongoing probe into the collapse of
the Morandi bridge in Genoa, which killed 43 people in August.
Several managers of Atlantia, which is controlled by the
Benetton family, and officials at the transport ministry are
under investigation for the Genoa disaster.
SPEA said it would work with the investigating authorities
looking into the latest allegations and was confident that it
would be found that its procedures were correct.
The company said it would take appropriate action if any
cases of fraud were found to have been committed by its
Since the disaster in Genoa, Autostrade has come under fire
from the Italian government for poor oversight and maintenance
of the motorway network.
The governing coalition has threatened to revoke the
concession managed by Atlantia's motorway unit.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Francesca Landini, writing
by Francesca Landini; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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