Milan, February 13 - A Milan judge indicted six ex-managers of the ENEL power company on manslaughter charges Wednesday for worker-deaths allegedly caused by asbestos exposure. Judge Elisabetta Meyer ruled that manslaughter charges must be faced by Francesco Corbellini - chairman of ENEL from 1979 to 1987 - as well as five other people, all former managers at the Turbigo power plant in Milan. The case revolves around eight workers who died of the most common form of asbestos-caused cancer, pleural mesothelioma, from 2004 onward. The prosecution maintains that the workers breathed asbestos dust while working in ENEL’s Turbigo power plant in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and that management failed to follow safety norms to protect the workers against exposure. The first hearing in the trial will be held May 15. The trial against ex-ENEL managers is one of a series of Milan probes in recent years against ex-company managers accused of allowing workers to be lethally exposed to asbestos. A trial regarding the Pirelli tire company is already under way, while another is due for a preliminary hearing within the next few days.
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di Giovanni Pastore