The section of the bridge now missing
Photo: Polizia di Stato (Twitter)

A highway bridge in Italy collapsed on Tuesday and sent vehicles about 300 feet into “a heap of rubble below,” according to the Associated Press. Officials reportedly said at least 22 people have died.

A local firefighter told an Italian news station that about 20 vehicles were involved in the collapse, the AP reports, and two people had been pulled alive from the rubble that collapsed into the area below the bridge.

The section of the bridge that collapsed spanned over 650 feet, the news outlet said, and firefighters were raising concerns about gas lines exploding nearby.

An aerial shot of the scene showed the wide gulf between both remaining sections of the bridge. Photos from the scene showed officials standing around a pile of rubble and cars.

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From below the bridge.
Photo: AP

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Reports initially said that at least 11 people have died, but that number has since increased to 22, reports ABC News.

The bridge sits 295 feet high and is just over 0.6 miles long, the AP notes. It’s located along a highway connecting Italy and France, as well as nearby vacation resorts.

The AP noted that a major Italian holiday falls on Wednesday, so traffic “would have been heavier than usual as many Italians traveled to beaches or mountains.”

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This post will be updated as more information is released.

Update: 11:45 a.m., August 14: CNN reports the death toll is now at 35.