Report: Italian building owner admits deadly blast was insurance scam

The owner of the farmhouse admitted to causing the blast, which killed three firefighters and injured two others


dpa

QUARGNENTO, Italy — Police have arrested the owner of a farmhouse in northern Italy four days after an explosion there killed three people, according to a local media report.

The man has admitted to causing the blast as part of an insurance scam, the ANSA news agency reported on Saturday. Investigators are also said to be questioning his wife.

The empty building, situated in Quargnento, about 60 kilometers east of Turin, went up in flames in the early hours of Tuesday, after which there was an explosion that killed three firefighters and injured two others alongside a Carabinieri policeman.

The building owner and his wife had amassed significant debts, according to the state prosecutor.

There were gas cylinders stored in the house with a time fuse set to go off at 1.30 am (0030 GMT), but the device malfunctioned at around midnight, causing the fire and bringing the fire brigade to the premises.

The state prosecutor said that the owner could have spoken up about the imminent explosion in order to prevent the deaths.

The man reportedly admitted to the crime after instructions for the time fuse were found in his bedroom wardrobe.

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©2019 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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