“I was closing the window when I saw a tree in front of the house.” Angelo is still in shock. He speaks like a survivor, because his home, fortunately, has not been destroyed. “We have never seen such an event before”, the tragedy of Campobello is on everyone’s lips in Pantelleria. A whirlwind, which left devastation during the passage, two dead and nine injured, entered from the eastern part of the island, struck yesterday at 19, in the Campobello district, along the perimeter road that connects the town with the inhabited center by Kamma. The search and repair of the road continued until late at night. Volunteers from the Pantelleria municipal group, together with the firefighters, worked tirelessly to free the asphalt from trees, electric cables and uprooted electricity poles. Last night the operations to pull out one of the six cars catapulted by the whirlwind and ended up violently inside one of the hit dammusi.
Two victims, Giovanni Errera, 47, firefighter, and Francesco Valenza, 86, retired. Of the nine injured, seven were discharged, two are hospitalized for observation. It is decided whether to transfer them to helicopter rescue. “If my wife and I are safe, we owe it to the seat belts we wore – says Domenico Caluori, 73, a retired Roman doctor on holiday on the island with his wife – we were returning from a bath at the Lake of Venus, when we were there found in front of the whirlwind. The car rose for a few seconds, then fell from the rear onto boulders of lava stone on a plateau. We are safe because we were on the edge of the vortex. ” The two spouses, rescued in hospital, reported only minor trauma to the head, bruises and bruises on the arms.
Pantelleria, a tornado causes two deaths and nine injuries. The Rescuers: “Apocalyptic Scene”
by Marta Occhipinti, Salvo Palazzolo
September 10, 2021
Who has escaped danger, who has lost a friend. “I lost Giovanni and I found out on the phone”, Thomas Bernardo replies angrily, with his cell phone in his hand that never stops ringing. He too was in Campobello yesterday, heading towards the town. “I began to see large stones coming towards me in the air – he says – I sought shelter with a Forest Guard car in a parking lot along the road. head under the dashboard on the passenger side. The car was moved to rest against the side of a wall. It was my salvation. ” His friend Giovanni was one kilometer ahead. He inside his car, a dark Jeep, didn’t make it. Meanwhile, on the island, still wet from little rain and illuminated by lightning flashes in the sky, mobile phones continue to ring. Who asks for news, who is looking for, worried, relatives or friends in the Campobello district. The municipal administration has proclaimed city mourning throughout the day today, flags at half mast to remember the victims.
Pantelleria, cars and destroyed houses: the images of the devastation
The damage count
The damages are counted and any missing persons are looked for, but until now they have not been reported. The weather conditions did not allow the seriously injured people to be transferred to Palermo during the night, which according to the Civil Protection would be four. A patient with a vertebral fracture will be transported by helicopter this morning. Another 8 injured are hospitalized in the Bernardo Nagar hospital on the island. It was a long night that just passed. Despite the darkness, attempts were made to identify the cars blown away by the whirlwind and to trace the owners. A car was found inside a house in the Campobello district, the area where the disaster occurred. Despite bad weather and strong winds, a team of six firefighters from the Urban Search and Rescue (Usar) group arrived in the area, specializing in the rescue in catastrophic scenarios and in the search for missing persons. A helicopter from the 82 ° Csar Center (Combat search and rescue – Search and rescue) in Trapani transported them from the Trapani-Birgi airport. Among the six firefighters who reached the island there are also some members of the Saf nucleus (Speleo alpine river).
Tornado in Pantelleria, the witness: “I’ve never seen anything like this”
The firefighters have started the search for any missing persons. Carabinieri and civil protection volunteers are also at work in the area, who will make an inspection this morning to count the damage. Until yesterday evening the damaged houses, the characteristic dammusi of Arab origin, were four; today, after the inspections, an initial assessment will be made. “We express on behalf of the whole city council – says the president of the city council Erik Vallini – the deepest pain for this absurd tragedy that has hit our community. a hospital bed. A sincere thanks to all those who have done their utmost to provide help in these hours “. Mayor Vincenzo Campo has proclaimed city mourning for today. Fabio Concato’s concert, scheduled for tonight, has been canceled.
Two injured in hospital, seven discharged
Of the nine injured who were involved in yesterday’s whirlwind in Pantelleria only one of these will be transferred to Palermo and taken to the Civic hospital or Villa Sofia for a vertebral fracture. Another will remain hospitalized at the Bernardo Nagar Island Hospital with a series of rib cage fractures. The other seven have been treated and already discharged. This morning the firefighters and civil protection will continue their inspections in the vast area in the Campobello district hit by the tornado. “Drones will also be used – explain from the regional civil protection – to search for any missing people as there are so many tourists on the island”. The searches went on all night. “All means will be used to patrol the area hit by the whirlwind yesterday – says the mayor of Pantelleria Vincenzo Campo – but at the moment there are no reports of missing persons”.