Boy, 5, killed after falling into Rome metro lift shaft

UPDATED: Three people have been detained for manslaughter after a five-year-old boy died on Thursday when he fell into the lift shaft at a metro stop in Rome.

Boy, 5, killed after falling into Rome metro lift shaft
The boy died after falling into a lift shaft at a Rome metro stop. Photo: Matthew Black

The Italian boy fell more than ten metres when the door of the lift at Furio Camillio stop, on Line A, opened and he stepped in without see that the lift wasn’t there, Ansa reported.

The tragedy was seen by his mother and a metro worker, who are being treated for shock.

An officer from Atac, Rome's transport department, has been detained along with two others.

Rome Transport Councillor Guido Improta said on Thursday that the accident was probably down to “human error”.

“The station agent carried out a procedure he shouldn't have, perhaps because conditions were difficult, and in the end there was the tragedy,” he was quoted by Ansa as saying, adding that the lift was “blocked” at the time.

Rome mayor Ignazio Marino met the child's parents at the scene, telling them he would declare a day of mourning on the day of the boy's funeral.

But he was reportedly heckled by bystanders, who told him to “go away”.

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Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.