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Jamaican casualty in Genoa - Westmoreland woman, husband and daughter among Italian bridge-collapse victims

Published:Saturday | August 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera
Dawna Munroe (left) with her husband Cristian Cecala and their daughter Crystal, who died in the bridge collapse in Italy.
Dawna Munroe (left) with her husband Cristian Cecala.


Hopes of finding Jamaican Dawna Munroe and her nine-year-old daughter Crystal were crushed last Friday when Italian authorities confirmed they were among the 43 people killed when a bridge they were driving across collapsed in Genoa, Italy.

Cristian Cecala, Munroe's Italian husband and the father of her daughter, was also killed in the incident which also left 16 persons nursing injuries.

The three were among the last of the victims to be confirmed dead because of the time it took rescuers to uncover their vehicle from the rubble.

They family was en route to Livorno to take the ferry to the island of Elba, where they planned on vacationing, when the Morandi motorway collapsed. Munroe and her family were buried under concrete for three days.

Born in Sheffield, Westmoreland, Munroe and her daughter, then seven months old, moved to Italy in 2009. She met her husband while working in Negril.

"Our family is devastated. It is not pretty at all. I am not holding up well and my mom, who lives in the United States, had to be taken to the hospital this morning (Saturday)," one of Munroe's younger sisters, Akeisha Lewis, told The Sunday Gleaner from her home in Toronto, Canada, yesterday.

The family had hopes of finding even one of the three alive, after reports surfaced that Cecala had sent a WhatsApp message advising his family that he was alive, but buried beneath the boulders.

"We hoped and we prayed they were alive," Lewis lamented, adding that the last time she saw her sister was December 2017 during her wedding in Jamaica.


Communication issues


Two of Munroe's sisters, Kimona Reid and Nicolee Munroe, and an aunt have since travelled to Italy to identify the bodies; however, Lewis said they have been having issues of communication owing to the language barrier.

The family wants to take back the bodies of Munroe and Crystal to Jamaica and are seeking guidance from the Jamaican Government on how to get this done.

The collapse of the bridge has caused a firestorm in Italy, with many families blaming the Government for faulty infrastructure work.

Yesterday, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella demanded guarantees that all the nation's roads are safe after he hugged and comforted mourners at a state funeral in the grieving port city.

Afterwards, Mattarella called the funeral, which took place on a day of national mourning, "a moment of grief, shared grief, by all of Italy".