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Two dead in building collapse in Lecce

Bodies 'turned to soap'

27 January, 16:02
Two dead in building collapse in Lecce (ANSA) - Lecce, January 27 - A homeless couple died after a floor gave way in a dilapidated building in the southern Italian city of Lecce, police said Monday.

The man and woman in the Puglia town fell through a ground-floor room into a rainwater cistern below.

Police said the accident happened a month ago and the bodies had already "turned into soap".

The corpses were found a few days ago by another street person who had moved into the building, looking for nettles to feed his canaries, police said.

The pair were identified as Riccardo 'Dino' Martina, 51, and Veronica Piggini, 47.

Piggini, from Milan, had been with Martina for 30 years and were well-known in Lecce's medieval quarter.

She sold knick-knacks near the while he had had a string of casual jobs.

The owner of the building, the wife of Lecce's former health chief, said she had not been aware the couple were living there.