Alitalia jet hit by lightning as storms pound Italy

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An Alitalia plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Rome’s Fiumicino airport after being struck by lightning. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
09:06 CET+01:00
An Alitalia plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on Wednesday evening after being struck by lightning.

There were “moments of fear” but no injuries among the 51 passengers and crew on board the plane, which had been travelling to the capital from Ancona, Ansa reported.

The pilot made the emergency landing “without any problems” after the jet’s right engine was hit by lightning.

Meanwhile, residents in Sicily's Catania and Acireale awoke to chaos on Thursday after the area was hit by a cyclone, destroying homes, overturning cars and uprooting trees, La Repubblica reported.

Eight people were reportedly injured as the storms swept across other parts of the island.

Rome was placed on heightened alert on Wednesday afternoon as torrential rain and strong winds spread from northern Italy.

Schools were closed on Thursday, while there were disruptions to bus and metro services. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino also advised residents to stay at home.

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Eight Italian regions, including Lazio, Tuscany, Liguria, Veneto, Friuli, Umbria, Sicily and Calabria are on red alert as the bad weather swept across the country, causing flooding in parts of Tuscany, Liguria and Piemonte.

The storms come a month after four people died in floods in Genoa and Tuscany.

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