Earthquake volunteer dies on way home from Amatrice

An engineer who cut short his summer holiday to assist with the post-earthquake recovery in central Italy has sadly died in a car crash on the return home.

Earthquake volunteer dies on way home from Amatrice
Amatrice was the town most severely damaged by the earthquake. Photo: AFP

Marco Belfiore, was an expert in geology and had previously worked in quake-affected areas of Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo.

In Amatrice and Norcia, two of the towns most seriously affected by the August 24th earthquake, he had been working on assessment of buildings to see how many were still habitable.

The 58-year-old had heard about the earthquake while on his summer holiday in Sardinia and called his boss to say he wanted to join the rebuild efforts.

He had also expressed the intention of returning to the area in the future to offer further help. 

The car was travelling from the central Italian region to Turin, Belfiore's hometown, when the crash occurred. According to Rai News, Belfiore suddenly lost control of the car, perhaps due to a sudden illness.

The car skidded and hit another car before overturning, on a stretch of road between the towns of Saluggia and Rondissone.

Sadly Belfiore died shortly after being taken to a hospital in Chivasso, Turin.

Two other people were left with minor injuries from the crash: another volunteer with the Civil Protection Agency who had been travelling with Belfiore, and the driver of the car they had crashed into.

Road police are investigating the cause of the incident.

The mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, has said that as the town is rebuilt, one street will bear the name of Marco Belfiore, Torino Oggi reported.

Pirozzi said that he would like to meet Belfiore's family, adding that the people of Amatrice understood their pain.

Augusto Ferrari, a regional councillor in Piedmont, wrote of his “extreme sadness” at the news of Belfiore's death on his Facebook page, and passed his wishes onto the man's friends and relatives.

“Unfortunately fate makes terrible jokes,” Ferrari said.

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