Tears in the rain: «Another wound for us» – L’Aquila

THE EAGLE. «Slowly, let’s be slow, we have to hurt him as little as possible». These are the words of one of the rescuers who find themselves in front of the lifeless body of Paolo Dal Pozzo, the co-pilot of the 118 helicopter crushed by a tanker full of fuel during the Air show. “We mustn’t hurt him”, whisper the forensic policemen and the doctors who try to move him from under the tank. Words that signify the great respect that every rescuer shares in those moments, whatever his uniform.
the witnesses
The doctor Americo Scarsella his voice is still trembling. It is the second time in a few years that she has come face to face with the death of a person with whom she worked every day. It was 2017, that cursed January 24th, when the 118 helicopter crashed on Monte Cefalone, in Campo Felice, taking away the lives of Valter Bucci, Giuseppe Serpetti, Mario Matrella, Davide De Carolis, Gianmarco Zavoli and the skier Ettore Palanca. Even on that day seven years ago, Scarsella found himself on the front line, in the midst of the storm, in the unfortunately vain hope of bringing help. His thoughts first go to the victim, a family man, a tragedy that shocks us all.” And then there is also a thought for the people who were with him. «The guys from the forensic police are very good. And then my drivers, Daniele Romano And Salvatore Bitetto, who, despite not being used to it, worked hard to provide help.” And to think that the yellow 118 helicopter with the I-LAQU license plate, at the end of refueling, had to leave. He couldn’t stay there, in the square in front of the airport hangars. A few minutes and he would have resumed his flight to go to San Salvatore. If an emergency situation arose, the helicopter had to be free to take flight without waiting for the end of the aircraft’s evolutions. «I am deeply saddened and struck by this new tragedy which affects the air rescue service of the ASL of L’Aquila. They are the words of Gino Bianchi, responsible for the 118 service. «All my solidarity with Avincis (the company in charge of the air rescue service in Abruzzo) and above all my condolences to the family of the co-pilot who died in this tragic way». Condolences also from the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps and from the ASL leaders of L’Aquila and Tuscany. «A tragedy», adds the management of ASL 1 Abruzzo, «which unfortunately testifies to the delicacy and risk of such an important activity carried out at the service of the community». Closeness and condolences are also expressed by Sis 118 Abruzzo (Italian 118 system company) with the president Roberta Orsini. The Air Force also intervenes on X, expressing deep condolences. In Preturo it is starting to rain heavily and the pilot’s recovery operations are still underway. Someone goes to untie one of the party gazebos. Before the rain gets too heavy, five or six of them lift him up and drag him towards the red and white cistern. The findings are over, there is nothing left to preserve for the investigation. But Paolo Del Pozzo is still there, and there are still rescuers near him. They can’t do anything else. «Put that gazebo here. Let’s keep him dry.”
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