And...I thought it was the end

18 images Created 2 Apr 2010

Viareggio, Italy.

…"I thought it was the End" is an opportunity to glance at the lives of some people that otherwise would have remained unknown. Their houses, their belongings, their broken lives are now fixed in local people's minds. This series of pictures is meant to be a tribute to their existence. 

29th June 2009

It was shortly before midnight when a train carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) derailed in the Italian seaside resort of Viareggio. The two train conductors promptly ran away and jumped over the railway boundary wall, shouting: ‘cheese it! it's going to explode, it's going to explode!’ 

A few seconds later, the whole town was suddenly awakened by a big explosion. All that happened a couple of hundred meters from the central station, in front of a little street named Via Ponchielli that was not protected by any retaining wall or barrier. So, when the first carriage derailed and crashed, the liquefied fuel in contact with air became white, frozen gas that, heavier than air, in a few minutes had silently penetrated like a snake through the little concrete fence which separated Via Ponchielli from the rail tracks. There, after having reached any open door or window, filled up the buildings until it found a spark. Everything happened straight away, no time to think, no time to understand, no escape route. 

Several months later, the toll was 32 dead, 10 serious injured, 80 homeless, a 32 million-euro damage, and nobody was under investigation yet, for a disaster, which could have certainly been avoided.
In 2010, seven suspects were named in the investigation by Lucca prosecutor.
Following the event, IL MONDO CHE VORREI, the association of the families of the victims, was created for having a way of doing justice legally in the face of the bureaucratic and legal indifference of a system that finds it difficult to recognize that a human loss needs answers, even just to be able to say 'I always think of you and I've done all this for you ...'.
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