British WWI Explosive Kills 30-Year-Old During Building Accident In Italy

A 30-year-old man has died in hospital after an explosive device from World War I went off during construction work on a house in Italy.

The victim – Riccardo Bau – and builders were thermally insulating a house in the Stoccareddo area of Gallio, Vicenza Province, on the morning of 1st June.

Riccardo – the owner of the property – was helping the builders with the work when he began cutting a pipe protruding from a wall using an angle grinder.

This triggered a powerful explosion that caused part of the wall to collapse directly onto the dairy inspector.

Riccardo Bau, 30, poses with unidentified child in undated photo. He died from the detonation of an explosive from World War One inside the wall of a home where he was doing construction work in Vicenza, Italy, on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Newsflash)

Paramedics and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

The paramedics stabilised Riccardo and took him to San Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza by air ambulance in critical condition.

He died from his injuries in hospital a few hours later.

The firefighters – who had initially suspected a gas leak – cordoned off the area and carried out inspections, identifying another similar pipe.

They studied the finds with the carabinieri and the Service for Prevention, Hygiene, and Safety.

They then concluded that the pipe Riccardo cut was actually a Bangalore torpedo – a long pipe filled with explosives.

The Bangalore torpedo was typically used for clearing obstacles, such as barbed wire or enemy defences, during World War I and World War II.

It was placed against the obstacle and detonated, creating a path for advancing troops.

It was named after the city of Bangalore in India, where it was first developed and used by the British Army.

According to local media, these pipes were likely embedded in the walls as reinforcement without knowledge that they were actually explosive devices.

An investigation into the incident was ongoing at the time of reporting.


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