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April 9, 2006

Falling Tree Kills Deaf Italian Tourist

From: Washington Post - United States - Apr 9, 2006

The Associated Press

ROME -- A century-old tree fell on a group of deaf tourists in central Italy on Sunday, killing a man and injuring seven people who were unable to hear a bus driver's shout of alarm, police said.

The Italian tourists had finished a day of sightseeing and were about to board a bus in a square outside the L'Aquila train station to return to their homes near Rome, police said.

"The bus driver shouted to warn them, but they couldn't hear," said Angelo Cardelli, an official at police headquarters.

A 47-year-old man from Valmontone, a suburb of Rome, was killed instantly when struck by the horse chestnut tree, police said.

Two women were hospitalized with broken bones and five of the tourists were treated at a hospital and released, Cardelli said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the tree to topple over, police said.

L'Aquila, in the Apennine mountains, is about 80 miles northeast of Rome.

© 2006 The Associated Press