An Italian gunsmith and his wife were charged with multiple homicide and other offenses in Rome on Thursday (November 30), following an explosion which set ablaze and wrecked an apartment block above their shop -- killing at least 15 and injuring nearly 70.
GV PAN DOWN Building showing explosion & fire damage
LV People round building & searching through wreckage
SV Firemen spraying water onto shouldering building PAN DOWN TO wreckage
SV Wrecked building PAN DOWN firemen & rubble & crushed car in street
SV Ambulance with stretchers
SV PAN Along wrecked shops & cars TO ambulance & firemen up ladder into building
LV Bodies taken out into ambulance (3 shots)
CU PAN FROM Woman's shoe on pavement TO wreckage
Wrecked and shouldering apartment block; rescue work in progress; bodies dragged out.
Initials SGM/0130 SGM/0146
This film showing rescue work in operation at the wrecked apartment block, contains some harrowing scenes of bodies being retrieved. They may cause distress.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: An Italian gunsmith and his wife were charged with multiple homicide and other offenses in Rome on Thursday (November 30), following an explosion which set ablaze and wrecked an apartment block above their shop -- killing at least 15 and injuring nearly 70.
The explosion ripped through the nine-storey building in the early hours of Thursday as about sixty families lay asleep, leaving one of Rome's biggest working-class suburbs in darkness and chaos, as electricity lines were cut. Electric trams stopped, halting early-morning traffic movement through surrounding streets.
Police and fire officials said the explosion could have been caused by a gunpowder keg igniting in the gunsmith's shop. Police allege that he was keeping more gunpowder than allowed, to make illegal fireworks for the traditional New Year firework festivities. Another man, alleged to be involved, was also charged.
SYNOPSIS: One of the largest working-class suburbs in Rome was in chaos early on Thursday morning, after a massive explosion ripped through a large apartment block - killing fifteen people, injuring nearly seventy others, and plunging the area into darkness as electricity lines were cut. Early morning commuter traffic was disrupted as electric trams came to a halt, blocking other vehicles. Hours later, as dawn broke, hundred of police, firemen, and rescue workers were still struggling to rescue trapped victims, and bring out the bodies of those who died.
The explosion, believed to have been triggered by a gunpowder keg in a gunsmith's shop below the apartments, came as about sixty families were still asleep. Police later charged the owner of the shop, his wife, and another man -- saying that they ware storing unlawful quantities of gunpowder, for making illegal fireworks for traditional New Year firework festivities. If found guilty on all charges, the gunsmith and his wife could face twenty-two years in jail.
President Leone later visited the injured in hospital, and the Interior Ministry made a grant equivalent to thirty-six-thousand-pound sterling to help the now-homeless families.