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AIRPORT

Rome’s Fiumicino airport hit by power cut

Rome’s Fiumicino airport suffered yet another setback on Thursday morning – a 20-minute power cut.

Rome's Fiumicino airport hit by power cut
Rome's Fiumicino airport was hit by a power cut on Thursday. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

The blackout, the cause of which was not immediately known, did not affect traffic control towers and so flights were able to take off and land, Ansa reported, citing officials.

The power cut comes just a day after a fire broke out in the nearby Focene pine grove, forcing the airport to temporarily suspend flights after strong winds blew thick smoke across the runways.

Passengers were still experiencing disruption on Thursday morning, with some flight delays of up to three hours, Ansa said.

A probe was opened on Wednesday as authorities believe the fire might have been started deliberately.

The airport is still struggling to recover from a nighttime blaze triggered by an electrical fault in a bar which sparked scenes of total chaos in early May, with thousands of people hit by flight cancellations and airport staff forced to wear protective masks.

Terminal three, which handles international flights, was seriously damaged and the airport was forced to reduce capacity by 40 percent.
 

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ROME

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.

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