Andrea Grassi was, according to reports, part of a gang who planned to rob bank branches by building tunnels to the banks.
Firefighters rescued a man who became stuck underground in central Rome while digging a tunnel, the Italian capital’s Fire Brigade said in a statement on Friday. According to media reports, he was part a gang that targeted a bank nearby.
“After eight hours of work, the fire brigade extracted, still alive, the man who was trapped due to a collapse which happened during the execution of an underground excavation in Via Innocenzo XI. The causes are being investigated,”The Fire Brigade released a statement.
Intervento in corso in via Innocenzo XI a Roma dove un uomo è intrappolato in un tunnel cinque metri sottoterra. Dopo i primi tentativi, adesso gli agenti dei nuclei speciali hanno iniziato a scavare un secondo tunnel per raggiungere l’operaio rimasto intrappolato pic.twitter.com/AfmTzdLh9m
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Locals and tourists were both interested in the rescue mission, which took place near the Vatican. Social media videos show how firefighters pulled Grassi from the ground to cheers and applause. Andrea Grassi (34), was admitted to San Camillo Hospital with a serious condition. However, his life is still in good hands.
According to media reports, the man who was rescued by the police may have been part of a gang that planned to exploit the peaceful summer vacation season and dig a tunnel between rented buildings in the center of the city to one of the banks nearby. The plan was to rob the bank in mid-August.
Their plan was thwarted when Grassi fell on asphalt while digging. It blocked Grassi to a depth around 6-6 meters. Grassi had no choice but to shout. “Help, please free me.”
Un uomo è rimasto incastrato in un tunnel sotterraneo che stava scavando abusivamente nei pressi di via Innocenzo XI a Roma. L’uomo, che si trovava a 5 metri di profondità è stato salvato dai vigili del fuoco dopo 8 ore di intervento. pic.twitter.com/ZpJz7FlLZT
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The police stopped his alleged accomplices from getting out of the tunnel. According to a police spokesperson, two men from Naples were detained for resisting a public officer and two others from Rome for damage to property.
“They may be thieves, but we don’t exclude this possibility.” he said.
The investigation into the case of what Italian media calls ‘the gang of the tunnel’ is ongoing, with a trial set for December 20.
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A law enforcement official told local media that all five of them have been convicted in the past for robbery. They have not pleaded guilty to the charges.
Grassi’s parents came to his defense, asking that their son not be called “Lucky thief,” telling the media: “He works for 50 euros a day. They told him to dig and he did it.”
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