TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Italy's populist government intensified its attacks on the viaduct operator amid rising anger over the tragedy and the structural problems that have dogged the decades-old Morandi bridge, which buckled without warning on Tuesday, sending about 35 cars and several trucks, along with huge chunks of concrete, plunging 45 metres (150 feet) onto railway tracks below.
The chance of finding survivors at this stage was slim and the unstable mountains of debris made the search operation dangerous, but rescue workers said they had not given up hope.
"We are trying to find pockets in the rubble where people could be -- alive or not," fire official Emanuele Gissi told AFP.
Genoa's chief prosecutor has said that between 10 and 20 people could still be missing under the huge piles of concrete.
Cranes and bulldozers are working to help clear the site as rescuers try to cut up and remove the biggest slabs of concrete.
"We will then send in dogs and rescue workers to see if we can find any signs of life," Gissi added.
The government has accused infrastructure giant Autostrade per L'Italia of failing to invest in sufficient maintenance -- a claim the company denies -- and said it would seek to revoke its lucrative contracts.
Shares in Atlantia, the holding company of Autostrade, slumped 22 percent by Thursday in the wake of the barrage of criticism.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini demanded that the company offer up to 500 million euros ($570 million) to help families and local government deal with the aftermath of the disaster.
"If we've put up five million euros, they should offer 500 million," he told reporters.
"There needs to be an immediate, concrete and tangible signal for these families: they should put their hands on their hearts and in their wallets."
The collapse has prompted fears over other ageing infrastructure in Italy and abroad.
At least 38 people were killed, according to an update by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Thursday.
The dead include children aged eight, 12 and 13, according to Salvini, while three Chileans and four French nationals are among those killed. Sixteen people were injured.