L'Aquila scientists face manslaughter charges

Scientist accused of down playing risks ahead of deadly 2009 earthquake go on trial in Italy for manslaughter.



    Top scientists in Italy are preparing to go on trial accused of playing down risks ahead of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila that killed 309 people.

    The experts were members of a panel which met in L'Aquila before the earthquake to assess the danger level after hundreds of smaller tremors.

    The increasing seismic activity unnerved the locals, but they told them there was nothing to worry about.

    Six days later, the town was raised to the ground by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

    Magistrates in L'Aquila claim the scientists provided "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" that stopped residents from taking precautions that fatal night.

    The scientists are now facing manslaughter charges.

    Scientists from around the world have condemned the trial, saying it is simply impossible to predict an earthquake.

    It could take months, or even years, before the trial concludes, but its outcome might change the way scientists warn the public about any future risks.

    Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga reports from L'Aquila.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.