Grief in Italy for the 39 victims of a collapsed motorway bridge in Genoa has been mixed with anger that such a vital structure could have simply given way.

Rescuers say there is little hope for more survivors underneath the Morandi bridge, where almost 40 vehicles fell 45m in Tuesday’s collapse.

The cause is not yet known but there have been calls for the heads of the company operating the bridge to resign.

Survivors have also been recalling the horror of the bridge’s collapse.

Hundreds of firefighters worked overnight with lifting gear, climbing equipment and sniffer dogs to try to locate more survivors.

The local prefecture raised the death toll on Wednesday morning to 39, 37 of them identified.

At least three children lost their lives.

The city’s authorities have declared two days of mourning.

There are 16 people being treated in hospital, 12 of them in a serious condition.

Some 440 people have been evacuated from the area amid fears other parts of the bridge might fall.

The Morandi Bridge, built in the 1960s, stands on the A10 toll motorway, an important conduit for goods traffic from local ports, which also serves the Italian Riviera and southeast coast of France.