Three die and nine injured in saint's day balcony collapse

Festival near Naples ends in tragedy

Naples, May 6 - Three people died and nine were injured Sunday evening when the stone balcony of an 18th-century building collapsed during a saint's day procession in the town of Portici, south of Naples. Two of the wounded are in serious condition. One is in an intensive care unit and the other was given a reserved prognosis. All of the victims were standing in the street under the balcony when it gave way during a celebration of the town's patron saint, Saint Cyrus. The festivity centres on a religious procession with a statue of the saint, and attracts thousands along the town's procession route on the first Sunday of May. Two of those killed were cousins of the local centre-left candidate for mayor Giovanni Iacone, who announced the immediate suspension of his electoral campaign in respect for his relatives, Maria Vela, 67, and Aniello Scognamiglio, 65. The third person who died was Concetta Evangelista, 65.

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