Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Ahead of Sunday's scheduled canonization of, in the village of , a massive stone and wood crucifix dedicated to the late collapsed, instantly crushing a man to death and landing another in the hospital. Reports variously say the collapse took place on Wednesday or Thursday.
Marco Gusmini, 21, died after part of the wood of the crucifix splintered and broke, sending it, along with the attached statue of Jesus Christ, toppling to the ground. He was reportedly posing for a photograph under the monument.
The mayor of Cevo, Silvio Citroni, termed the incident "an unexplainable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes destroyed this way". Describing the tragedy, he elaborated, "The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction." Citroni also said the crucifix had undergone maintenance work last summer. "This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen." In light of the untimely tragedy, he said, plans for any further celebrations to commemorate the late pontiff's impending canonization have been scrapped.
Sculptor Enrico Job designed the crucifix, which stood 100(30 ) tall; curved unusually to symbolize, reportedly, the scars of ; mounted with a 20 ft (6 m) tall statue of Jesus Christ weighing 1,320 (600 ). Commissioned to commemorate Pope John Paul II's 1998 visit to , and reportedly originally erected at a stadium there, the crucifix was moved to its present location in nearby Cevo in 2005.
Gusmini and his parents reportedly lived on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, a street innamed after another late pontiff to be canonized alongside Pope John Paul II, . In celebration of this double canonization, Rome is expected to play host to 19 heads of state, 24 heads of government, and some 800,000 Catholic pilgrims, visiting from around the world, according to the Interior Ministry of Italy.
- Man crushed by giant John Paul II crucifix in Italy" — , April 25, 2014 . "
- Yasmine Hafiz. "Giant Pope John Paul II Crucifix Collapses And Kills Young Man In Italy" — , April 24, 2014
- Crucifix devoted to late pope John Paul II crushes man to death in Northern Italy" — , April 24, 2014 . "
- "John Paul II crucifix crushes man in northern Italy" — , April 24, 2014
- Nick Squires. "Man crushed to death by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope" — , April 24, 2014
- Hannah Roberts. "That's a bad sign: 100ft crucifix built in honour of John Paul II collapses and crushes a man to death just two days before he is declared a saint" — , April 24, 2014
- Gianluca Mezzofiore. "John Paul II Canonisation: Giant Crucifix Crushes Man to Death in Italy" — , April 24, 2014
- Rome braces for 800,000 to make pilgrimage to double canonization ceremony" — , April 23, 2014