Colonel Vittorio Stingo: “Palaces swallowed by underground explosion, dramatic scenery”
I am at least five buildings collapsed last night after the explosion in Ravanusa (Agrigento). Two of these, as the Fire Brigade say, are “pulverized”, other buildings were heavily damaged. The shock wave reached a distance of at least 100 meters, also damaging glass and furnishings of buildings far from the site of the disaster. Two survivors so far (two elderly sisters), four confirmed victims. Among those who are missing there are no children, as instead hypothesized at first.
But according to the scenario outlined at Adnkronos by Vittorio Stingo, provincial commander of the carabinieri of Agrigento who last night arrived among the first in Ravanusa, the buildings razed to the ground could even be seven: “The scene that presented itself to the rescuers was that of a post-earthquake. An earthquake of the highest degree of the Mercalli scale that left no way out. An underground explosion swallowed seven buildings , which were completely razed to the ground, “explained the colonel.
“The rescue machine was activated immediately”, he continues. On site the firefighters, the carabinieri with reinforcements arrived from Licata and the volunteers of the Civil Protection and the Red Cross. “The scenario that presented itself before our eyes was dramatic – explains Colonel Stingo -. Beyond the explosion, very violent, a large fire had developed difficult to control due to the methane that continued to escape. Thanks to the equipment supplied to the firefighters, it was possible to intervene immediately and extract the first person alive. This immense joy, however, was immediately thwarted by the extraction of the first lifeless bodies “.
In the early stages, searches were facilitated by rumors. “We could hear them coming from under the rubble. Once the gas was shut off, it was possible to dig stone by stone and save the first survivors.” Molecular dogs are also on site, whose intervention is made difficult by the smell “acrid and strong gas and burning that is felt throughout the area“. A vast area, the one involved in the explosion and collapses, right in the center.” Not all the apartments were inhabited at that time – continues the provincial commander of the carabinieri of Agrigento – and someone could be inside a ‘cell’ that he protected. The hope of still finding someone alive does not abandon us. Let’s not give up. We continue to dig. “There are about a hundred firefighters on the spot with over 30 vehicles and the same number of carabinieri arrived from all over Sicily.
(from Rossana Lo Castro)