“Crazy, everything explodes.” Arsonist arrested

“Crazy, everything explodes.” Arsonist arrested
“Crazy, everything explodes.” Arsonist arrested

11am yesterday morning. A black man begins to spray the fuel, brandishing his gun like a whip, then sets fire to the Coil petrol station in Piazza Caduti sul Lavoro, in the Darsena, under the gaze of the astonished witnesses. The crazy action soon goes viral on social media, thanks to videos shot by passers-by. Taken to the barracks, Famakan Traore, a 25-year-old from Mali, is now accused of arson. The plant could hardly have exploded, but he equally hardly knew it and perhaps the goal of his disturbed mind was precisely this.

The disturbing video is enriched by the author’s description, which takes the scene from the opposite side of Via Trieste. You can see the immigrant already holding the unleaded petrol gun and starting to shoot liters of fuel onto the floor of the forecourt and against the dispensers. Promptly, the manager activates the safety systems and reduces the quantity of delivery. “He’s spilling the petrol, we’ll have to call the firefighters or everything here will catch fire”, we hear in the video. An insistent action, about fifty seconds. There is a stampede all around, while the traffic on Via Trieste continues to flow. At a certain point the man stops. “He wants to set everything on fire,” can be heard in the audio. And this happens.

The immigrant speaks to one of the managers, who immediately runs away: “He told me, go away and I’ll set fire to everything”, he told the police. That man has a lighter in his hand, sets fire to something that looks like a paper towel and throws it to the ground. In a few moments the vending machine is engulfed in flames, which come close to touching the aluminum cover, while a thick blanket of black smoke is released into the sky. “I don’t believe it, it’s crazy. Everything explodes here”, the disbelief of those who in the meantime are documenting everything, inviting those alongside them to call 115. The diesel and petrol tanks are right under the square, but fortunately the flames spread they run out on their own within a short time. In the meantime, the arsonist continues to walk and agitate and is filmed while compulsively crossing the intersection. The cars stop suddenly, while he curses, threatens and becomes agitated, as if prey to the devil. He first heads towards Via Magazzini Posteriori, then turns back, crosses again and moves away in the direction of the park inside the roundabout. He wears shabby clothes, torn knee-length trousers, a t-shirt and a sleeveless jacket. His comings and goings are frenetic, but at the same time he gives the impression of not wanting to leave there. So far the first video, about 4 minutes long. But there is also a second one – three minutes – which documents the phases of the arrest.

In fact, a patrol from the mobile radio operations unit was in the station at that moment, therefore just a few hundred meters away. Soon sirens can be heard in the distance, while the agitated man continues to wander around in front of the petrol station, which is on the corner of Via Gulli. In a few seconds a police gazelle swoops on the spot. The man does nothing to resist. Indeed, when the soldiers approached him, he knelt down and was handcuffed. Just enough time to make him lie on the ground and search him, then he is put on the car radio and taken to headquarters, under arrest. The nightmare is over. All in all, the damage to the Coil appears limited: “Tomorrow a new dispenser will arrive”, explain the managers, ready to reopen, while cleaning up the square with cuttlefish. Once the parenthesis of madness has ended, everything starts again. As if nothing had happened.

Lorenzo Priviato


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