Italian admits causing deadly blast ‘because wife left him’

An Italian man has confessed to causing a huge gas explosion at his home, which killed his wife and two neighbours in May, and left his daughters severely burnt.

Italian admits causing deadly blast 'because wife left him'
The explosion killed three people in Milan last month. Photo: Cronaca24/YouReporter

Giuseppe Pellicanò, 51, admitted to deliberately unhooking his Milan apartment's stove from the gas main in the early hours of Sunday, June 12th.

Prosecutors reported the leak had without doubt been caused by “deliberate manipulation”.

“The gas tap had been dismantled and the pipe connecting the mains to the stove loosened,” they wrote.

The sabotage eventually triggered a massive explosion which killed both Pellicanò's 43-year old wife, Micaela, and a student couple, both aged 27, who lived in the apartment next door.

The blast also left Pellicanò and his two daughters, aged 11 and seven, with serious burns.

Both girls remain in hospital with their injuries.

According to prosecutors, Pellicanò's desperate act was motivated by the 51-year-old advertising agency owner's failure to accept his wife's separation from him.

The pair had split up two years earlier, but were still living together for the benefit of their children, the youngest of whom is autistic.

After his failure to accept his wife had moved on, Pellicanò had begun seeing a psychologist and was being treated for depression.

Just four days before the explosion, he attacked the car of his wife's new lover, spray-painting it with profanities and slashing its tires.

On Monday, judges ruled that Pellicanò will not be granted bail due to his “vengeful and angry psychological state,” which make him a risk to others.

Judges also considered his “healthy economic conditions,” which increase the likelihood he would attempt to flee the country if released. 

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.