Three Italian fire fighters killed in building explosion
Three Italian fire fighters were killed early on Tuesday, 5 November 2019, in a building explosion that appears to have been deliberate in the northwestern region of Piedmont. The fire fighters were responding to a report of an explosion in an unoccupied farm building in Alessandria province when a second, stronger blast occurred. Three other first responders were injured. Prosecutor Enrico Cierci told reporters that a timer and a gas canister have been found in the rubble, which "makes us think that the explosion was deliberate." No motive was immediately clear but Alessandria Police superintendent Michele Morelli said there was no indication of terrorist involvement.
Local media reported that the timer was remote-controlled and that the owner of the farm building, which had been renovated and has been up for sale for two years, had been questioned. An adjacent farm building that was part of the complex was not damaged.
One of the dead fire fighters was buried under rubble, the body only recovered after hours of digging.
Italy's interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese, visited the site, amid an outpouring of sympathy for the families of the dead and injured from Italian officials and authorities. Lamorgese declined to comment on the investigation.
Two other fire fighters and a member of Italy's Carabinieri law enforcement corps were injured in the incident.
Those killed were aged 32, 38 and 46, Italian fire fighters told media.
"There's something very wrong here," said one source. "If this was done deliberately, I can't understand why. But that is what it looks like." Local press reports said investigators were looking into possible insurance fraud or a family dispute behind the inferno.
On social media, the Italian fire brigade paid tribute to those killed, saying the fire service felt "pain" at the loss of the three colleagues.
Source: ABC News