Blind World Magazine

Tree Falls on deaf-blind group.

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (Italy).
Monday, April 10, 2006.

Today in Italy - Special service by AGI on behalf of the Italian Prime Minister's office

(AGI) - L'Aquila, April 10 - The flying squad of the l'Aquila police station has submitted its first report on the tragic accident yesterday afternoon when a very old tree fell on a group of deaf and blind people in the square in front of the railway station.

The group, in the city for Palm Sunday, was made up of 52 people who were getting back on the bus which was to take them back home, to Valmontone (Rome), after having visited the monumental fountain of 99 spouts, around 300 metres from the scene of the accident.

The tree, a horse-chestnut about twenty metres tall, immediately killed Giuseppe Giuliani, 47 years old, an employee of the ministry of Justice. Of the seven people injured, 4 were released yesterday evening from the hospital 'San Salvatore'. Three others, instead, are still in the hospital with an expected recoveries of between 3 and 30 days. Filomena Rocca, 60 years old, the woman whose life was originally in danger, has been declared in stable condition.

It is now the responsibility of the person in charge of the inquiry, deputy prosecutor Simonetta Ciccarelli, to ascertain possible liability in what, however, seems to be only a tragic accident. The "killer" tree has been placed in a "state of judicial conservation", as have the other plants nearby, which will undergo testing. The group had arrived in L'Aquila in the morning to participate, with other groups from various Italian regions, in the annual "Movement for the Deaf and Blind".

The pilgrimage began with a mass in the basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, officiated over by the metropolitan archbishop Giuseppe Molinari. The attempt of the bus driver to warn the group of the impending danger proved useless: a few seconds wasn't enough for the interpreter to make the group getting onto the bus move away. (AGI) -

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