No intervention despite the danger warnings. No precautions despite the fact that a weather alert was announced with very violent storms and gusts of wind. The result? In just three days, in February 2019, 164 unsafe trees collapsed, causing damage and injuring people, even seriously. Now the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome is asking 7 managers of the Campidoglio and the technical director of a private company in charge of intervening in the I Municipio for an account: the prosecutor Andrea Cusani, owner of the file, has just signed a request for indictment that could soon lead to all in the dock. The head of the Cabinet of the mayor Virginia Raggi, Stefano Castiglione, the director of the Roman Civil Protection, Diego Porta, the director of the Environment Department of the Capitol, Marcello Visca are also under accusation. The charges are very serious road injuries and culpable disaster.
The most serious dispute concerns the wounding of a lawyer and professor of private law at Luiss, who was paralyzed in the lower part of his body after being crushed by a large pine that collapsed in Viale Mazzini on 25 February. The charge states that the risk was known: for 13 months the company in charge of monitoring the trees had indicated the “imminent danger of falling”. According to the investigators, the suspects have failed to order “the immediate killing”, and also to secure the area. But here are the facts. The emergency was triggered on February 22, when the National Civil Protection had issued the weather alert: “From late evening strong winds and strong storms are expected for the next 24-36 hours”. Among the recommendations was that of preparing a “careful surveillance of tree-lined road sections”. On 23 February an emergency table was called in Rome, the Municipal Operations Center, in which Castiglione, delegated by the mayor, Porta, Visca, a local police officer and one from the Capitoline Green took part. The Capitol had therefore issued an ordinance with which it had ordered the closure of the historic villas, public gardens and cemeteries. But no precautions had been taken on the streets: according to the prosecutor, no one had considered the risk of falling trees on the tree-lined avenues. A more than concrete risk: in three days almost 170 pines and shrubs had collapsed, not counting the broken branches.
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED