Friday 18 December 2009

The Bologna station bomb

Just back from the lovely ancient Italian city of Bologna. In the Piazza Maggiore, there’s a simple but moving monument to the 85 people killed in a neo-Fascist terrorist bombing at the railway station on Saturday, August 2, 1980.

It was a hot morning, and the air-conditioned waiting room was packed when an unattended suitcase exploded at 1025. The blast destroyed most of the station’s main building and severely damaged a train at the platform by the waiting room. So many people were injured that a large number had to be taken to hospital in buses and taxis.

In 1988, four neo-fascists were gaoled for life for their part in the bombing, though two were later freed on appeal. A third person was gaoled for 30 years in 2004, but he continues to maintain his innocence.

The attack came on the same day that a Bologna court sent 8 men for trial following a neo-fascist terrorist bomb on the Rome-Brenner express in 1974 that killed 12 people.

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