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Survivor of Cinque Terre rock slide thanks 'miracle'

Four Australians hurt walking around famous tourist spot

24 September, 16:15
Survivor of Cinque Terre rock slide thanks 'miracle' (ANSA) - Genoa, September 24 - One of the four Australian tourists caught in a rock slide Monday in the popular Cinque Terre coastline said it was a miracle she survived.

The three women and one man were injured in a rock slide while they were walking on a stretch of the Liguria area's famous attraction.

Rescue services said the most seriously hurt member of the party was freed by helicopter, then taken to a hospital in the north-western Italian city of Genoa.

She has been identified as Judy Greig, 61, and is reported to have a serious head injury and other wounds.

Still, rescuers said she told them: "I'm alive by a miracle... it was a nightmare". Another member of the group, with less serious injuries, was taken to hospital in the nearby city of La Spezia.

A doctor with the helicopter brigade said a boulder measuring up to two meters in diameter narrowly missed the group, who were "lucky" they were not crushed.

Of the four, only Greig was thrown over a protective barrier by the rockslide while the others were able to move or grab onto the barrier, said Giovanni Palermo. Rescuers said it was a race against time,to get Greig out of the relatively inaccessible hiking area and safely away to San Martino Hospital in Genoa for treatment.

The accident occurred on the famous Via dell'Amore (road of love) track between Riomaggiore and Manarola.

Local authorities said that, given this landslide occurred during dry period, they are worried about what will happen when the rainy season starts. "We are very concerned, because this incident happened in the absence of rain. We wonder what will happen now that the rains will resume in autumn," said Regional Park Director Patrizio Scarpellini.