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Mansfield mum tells of ordeal after being caught up in Genoa bridge collapse

Nicola and her family had to run for their lives after the bridge collapsed.
Nicola and her family had to run for their lives after the bridge collapsed.

A Mansfield mum who was on a motorway bridge in Genoa with her family when it collapsed has spoken out about the terrifying ordeal.

Nicola Henton-Mitchell was in the area on holiday with her wife Lisa and their two children when the bridge collapsed on Tuesday, killing 39 people.

After stopping to use a service station toilet, she and her family were then forced to abandon their car and run for their lives as the bridge gave way.

Nicola, who now lives in Oxfordshire, told the BBC: "The car moved sideways and we shuddered.

"We thought it was the wind but now we wonder if it was the road twisting.

"When we ran from the car my daughter didn't have her shoes on.

"My son grabbed a rucksack with a few bits in. Fortunately it had our passports and a phone in. Everyone just ran into the tunnel."

And Lisa added: "We had stopped at a service station to use the toilet.

"Thank God, or it could have been worse.

"I was driving. The rain was so severe you could only see a few cars in front of you.

"Something didn't feel right. We felt we were sliding to the right."

She told the BBC: "Everyone's red lights came on.

"Then it seemed like seconds later the reverse lights came on.

"The car in front reversed and crashed into us. Nobody could really move."

The family took refuge in the shelter alongside dozens of other terrified families.

A bus later transported all those sheltering in the tunnel to a civic centre in Genoa.