(ANSA) - Vado Ligure, February 18 - The chief prosecutor of
the northern Italian port city Savona has publicly accused a
local power plant of killing 400 people from 2000 to 2007
through toxic emissions.
"Without the power plant the deaths would not have
happened," said Francantonio Granero regarding the operations of
Tirreno Power, a coal power plant.
The prosecutor said that a study by court-appointed experts
revealed that "from 2000 to 2007, 400 deaths should be
attributed to the emissions of the power plant".
The prosecutor's office has two ongoing probes into the
activities of Tirreno Power - one for environmental disaster and
another for multiple manslaughter.
Tirreno Power's ex-managing director Giovanni Gosio - who
stepped down several weeks ago - and the power plant's director,
Pasquale D'Elia, are under investigation, as well as a third
person who has not yet been identified.
Savona's prosecutor added that in addition to the deaths,
the power plant had also caused "between 1,700 and 2,000
hospitalizations among adults for respiratory and cardiovascular
disease and 450 hospitalizations among children for respiratory
disease and asthma attacks between 2005 and 2012".
The consultants' findings concern a well-defined
geographical zone of emissions exposure, and claimed to have
been able to exclude the impact of automotive traffic, other
companies operating in the area and smoke from ships in the
Tirreno Power issued a statement saying the experts hired
by the prosecution were "biased" and that their findings have
never been critically examined.
The power company added that from the study "we cannot
understand what was the method for analysing emissions exposure"
and that the lack of clarity and absence of "necessary, robust
analysis" meant one cannot draw a "concrete causal link".