Panic last night meter A. For reasons of “public order”, Atac was forced to close the station already at seven in the afternoon Saint John. Reason? Suddenly, passengers began to have breathing problems, unable to stay in the tunnels or use the escalators. Some started running outside: “I couldn’t breathe, my throat was burning”, explains a 48-year-old worker who was returning from work, “an uncontrollable cough” for Marco, a 23-year-old student. Someone assumed the worst: “I even thought about a terrorist attack,” adds a university student who lives in Piazza Lodi. Trains were ordered to pass without stopping on the platform, while the SOS was immediately fired to the fire brigade, carabinieri and ambulances.

It’s just past 7.10pm on an already particularly heavy day for Roman commuters: images spread hour after hour on social networks speak of chaos and inconvenience on the B metro, with platforms overflowing with users waiting between trains from Rebibbia to Laurentina. For the company’s website, the usual “delays”, but the unpredictable, in fact, happens in San Giovanni.

The fire teams arrive at the site from the via Genova and Tuscolano headquarters, among them also the NBCR (nuclear biological chemical radiological) nuclear specialists who, after two separate findings, rule out the possibility of a gas leak. Rather, the Carabinieri of San Giovanni begin to listen to some passengers and with the help of Atac staff to view the images recorded by the video surveillance system. Some witnesses said they saw two men, possibly North African, who were arguing with each other when, in the end, one of them used a stinging spray. At that moment, the two disappeared, while the first passengers around them began to stop breathing well. Further investigations are underway by the military.

Five fire brigades intervened, including the officer on duty. “In cases like this – explain from the Fire Department – our task is to quickly analyze which substances have spread and determine if there are bacteriological or other types of dangers”. On this occasion, having ascertained that it was a stinging substance, the firefighters first took it upon themselves to clear the station and then clear the air. In the end, the station – closed at 19.12 – was reopened after approval from the Fire Department at 20.45. In short, only during the last 15 minutes of service given the 21 “lockdown” imposed by the extraordinary maintenance works on the line.

An hour and a half during which the trains passed without stopping, forcing passengers to travel on foot from Re di Roma or Manzoni in order to change and take line C. Codacons also intervened on the episode and asked the competent authorities to clarify the causes that caused respiratory difficulties to the detriment of passengers at the San Giovanni station of the Rome A metro. If, as the first rumors confirm, the closure of the station is due to the spread of pepper spray, those responsible for this action to the detriment of the community must be identified and prosecuted. The circumstance that not only constitutes the interruption of the public service, but also crimes against public health. We ask the prosecutor to acquire the recordings of the video surveillance systems inside the station and to prosecute the perpetrators of the act”.

Source : IL Messaggero

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