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Man with fake gun sparks Rome metro panic

A man carrying what turned out to be a plastic gun sparked an evacuation at Rome's main train station late on Monday after railway police received an alert that an armed man was on the city's transport network.

Man with fake gun sparks Rome metro panic
police officers stand guard outside Rome's Termini station after it was evacuated. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The railway police reported the evacuation in a message on Twitter at around 7pm GMT, while passengers also took to social media to post pictures of the evacuation at the Roma Termini station.

Shortly after, Italian media published a CCTV image showing a man in black trousers, a blue jacket and a white cap, pointing an object that resembled a gun towards the floor.

Media said a passenger had raised the alarm on a metro train three stops before Termini and that the man was arrested, with the gun in his hand, as he alighted from a regional train in Anagni, 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Rome.

Roma Termini, which includes mainline and urban underground lines, is the biggest in Italy with thousands of passengers, including many tourists, passing through it every day.

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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