Pirozzi probed over Amatrice quake collapse

Mayor among eight under investigation

(ANSA) - Rieti, February 9 - Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi is among eight people under investigation over the collapse of one of three buildings in the town's Piazza Sagnotti during the devastating August 24, 2016 earthquake, sources said Friday. The accusation is culpable homicide. The collapse of buildings in Piazza Sagnotti claimed 19 lives. They were among 299 killed by the quake, with most of the victims in Amatrice.
    Pirozzi won widespread praise for his work for the local community in the wake of the quake and he is standing to be Lazio governor in March's regional elections. Pirozzi said he was innocent and said the news had come suspiciously close to the election.
    "I have nothing to do with the case and I feel the need to observe that the probe was notified to me, coincidentally, 22 days before an important electoral date that sees me involved personally: the regional elections of March 4".
    The head of the Italian mayors association ANCI, Bari Mayor Antonio Decaro, voiced solidarity with Pirozzi and said it was "time to say enough: it isn't possible that a mayor, merely because he is the most exposed terminal of democratic institutions, the one citizens know directly and to whom they entrust their most serious concerns at the most serious moments, should become a personal target...answering for the effects of any and all calamities".