Pope’s Condolences for Victims of Collapse of Buildings in Italy

Three People Died and Six Are Missing

Collapse Buildings Italy
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis expressed his condolences for the victims of the collapse of some buildings last Saturday in the city of Ravanusa (Agrigento) in southern Italy due to a methane gas explosion that so far has claimed 3 fatalities and 6 missing.

Today, December 14, 2021, the Holy Father sent a telegram, signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Archbishop of Agrigento, Monsignor Alessandro Damiano, reported the Holy See Press Office.

After the collapse of several buildings in the city of Ravanusa, caused by a devastating explosion, Pope Francis wished to transmit to the family members of the deceased “his condolences and his sentiment of intense sharing in the grief of all the population.” The Pontiff assured that he “carries in his heart the suffering of so many people, caused also by the enormous damage inflicted on many” and requests that “his heartfelt sympathy” reach them, assuring them in particular of his prayer of intercession for the victims.

His Holiness also expressed his gratitude “to all those that worked in the rescue operations, as well as the extraordinary collection  promoted by this Archdiocese for the Ravanusa community.” By way of conclusion, the Bishop of Rome invoked God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, the consolation “of all those suffering the consequences of the grave disaster” and sends his Apostolic Blessing.

The Facts

According to “Vatican News,” the accident happened as a result of a strong explosion caused by a huge gas leak in the methane network. This is the hypothesis being considered by the investigators to explain the collapse of at least seven buildings in Ravanusa, in the Agrigento area. So far, three victims have been found. Two people were pulled alive from the rubble and six people are still missing, among them a young pregnant woman who was soon to give birth. The detonation might have been caused by an elevator in one of the buildings.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester