Taranto

Efforts to recover missing ILVA worker suspended in Italy

Crane operator struck by tornado

Efforts to recover missing ILVA worker suspended in Italy

Taranto, November 29 - Efforts to recover the body of a 29-year-old crane operator working at the troubled ILVA steelworks in the southern port city of Taranto were temporarily suspended on Thursday due to rough seas. Francesco Zaccaria went missing on Wednesday morning after a tornado blew the crane he was working on into the company harbour. Divers were unable to establish even whether his body was inside the crane cab on the seabed, which was obscured by sludge. The cab is due to be lifted out of the water at some point but it is not clear when this will happen. A colleague reported that Zaccaria was outside the cab when the tornado struck, meaning that his body could have been carried some distance. The ILVA plant is at the centre of a bitter legal and political dispute over the need to balance job security with health and environmental concerns. In July a local investigating judge ordered the partial closure of the site to allow environmental upgrades to be made, sparking protests from company representatives, workers and the unions. Steel and semi-finished products have since been seized and seven top managers placed under arrest as part of a corruption probe in a move that company sources said would lead to the "almost immediate" closure of the plant. ILVA and the government have been trying to keep the plant in operation while remedial measures are carried out.

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