June 5, 2021 – 07:58
The Unicoop center will remain closed for a long time, the workers sorted into other supermarkets or chain stores
of Simone Innocenti and Jacopo Storni
The “war machine” is no more.The Coop of Ponte a Greve, after the devastating fire on Thursday, lies gutted on the sides of the tramway. «War machine» is the nickname that the insiders had given it: hundreds of millions of turnover a year, the flagship of Unicoop Firenze, the model on which all the other co-ops were organized. In Ponte a Greve the first “piazza del fresco” was inaugurated, that is bakery and gastronomy facing each other with fruit and vegetables in the middle, it was a revolutionary project. For the approximately 400 people who work and live thanks to the shopping center, it is a disaster: think only of when a utopia can reopen. Many of them were in tears yesterday, from Coop employees to bartenders.
From the inspection that yesterday morning the prosecutor Christine Von Borries did with the firefighters and carabinieri the first useful elements emerged to reconstruct the causes of the fire. On Thursday ten workers were on the roof where they were cold taring. The works had been going on for a week and were carried out on lamellar wooden beams: the insulated panels had to be placed underneath. By law there must be no fire extinguishers and no flame must be used: the Prosecutor’s Office, which has opened an investigation for negligent fire, will have to establish whether all the regulations have been respected. And if the presence of photovoltaic panels and air conditioning motors ignited the flames. The Public Prosecutor, who will appoint consultants, has ordered the seizure of the part of the structure affected by the flames and sent the judicial police to acquire all the documentation of the contract.
The first images from inside the supermarket are terrifying. The roof is gutted, metal sheets and electric wires hang from the top. And then the mud, the crumbled shelves, the collapsed walls. “It’s all destroyed and to be rebuilt”, say the Coop executives. Damages for millions and works that will go on at least for the whole summer. And for the approximately 30 commercial activities, already proven by the lockdown, it is a new blow. The workers of the commercial chains will be diverted to other stores, the 250 Coop employees will be sorted to other supermarkets. For other activities, layoffs are envisaged. Arpat reassures about the healthiness of the air, but the mayor Nardella with an ordinance asks to avoid the consumption of fruit and vegetables harvested in the surrounding land.
Unicoop has instead decided to extend the opening hours of the Scandicci supermarkets in viale Aleardi and of the Isolotto in via Talenti also to Sunday morning opening of the Coop.Fi in Scandicci viale Aleardi and of the Isolotto in viale Talenti . Then A free shuttle was activated to take customers from the Ponte a Greve car park to the Coop in Lastra a Signa.
June 5, 2021 | 07:58
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