Italy: Christian Pilgrim Marco Gusmini Crushed to Death by Giant Crucifix
Marco Gusmini, 21, of Bergamo was visiting the alpine village of Cevo with a church group to visit the 30-meter (100- foot) curved cross, upon which a giant sculpture of Jesus was attached, when the structure fell on him, killing him instantly.
The crucifix, which was erected by the Enrico Job in honor of Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia, Lombardia, had stood in Cevo since 2005.
Cevo Mayor Silvio Citroni called the accident “an unexplainable tragedy.”
“This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen.”
“A young life, so many hopes destroyed,” added Citroni.
The mayor explained what happened:”The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction.”
According to the leading Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Gusmini ironically lived on a street in Bergamo named after Pope John XXIII, who along with John Paul II is to be declared a saint at a ceremony this weekend.
The Daily Mail reports this isn’t the first time an Italian has been killed by a falling crucifix in recent years. In 2004, an elderly woman was crushed to death by a 2-meter (7-foot) metal crucifix.