Bomb explosion in cellar claims 1 victim

59-year-old collector of war ‘memorabilia’ dies in accident

Pineapple grenade

Pineapple grenade

An explosion around lunchtime in the cellar of a building in via Pietro Canonici 13, is presumed to have been the result of an accident. The bomb, which went off in the San Ruffillo area of the city and heard quite some distance away, did not seem to have caused any significant or obvious damage to the actual building.

7.62mm Ammunition belt

7.62mm Ammunition belt

Fiorenzo Romagnoli, 59, and who was known to have a bicycle shop nearby, was working in the basement at the time. He was an enthusiastic collector of weapons especially of World War ordinance and that he may have been attempting to detonate the bomb he had himself found at some point.

As soon as the explosion ripped through the palazzo, neighbours raised the alarm. Carabinieri and fire fighters arrived first on the scene along with an emergency ambulance shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, they were unable to save the man’s life due to his injuries. Fire fighters secured the area, and temporarily disconnected gas and electricity lines. The three-story building was declared safe after all the necessary checks took place.

Neighbours reported hearing a violent explosion, which probably killed the man instantly. A partition wall between the cellars also collapsed as a result of the internal damage. And although investigators reported that a lot more damage would have occurred had two doors in the room not have been opened. The opening created a passageway that allowed the explosion to escape without further consequences.

When the police began searching the cellar they also discovered solvent jars lying around in which they feared maybe in an unstable condition. Additionally, there were two military-type grey boxes and several ammunition belts with 7.62 Nato machine-gun ammunition. They also found the remains of what was probably a metal detector that Romagnoli may have used to look for war ordinance.

In the house, investigators found the man’s cat and different war collectibles such as daggers, bayonets and even five pineapple-type hand grenades, some still with the pin attached and therefore potentially at risk to exploding.

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