Landslide of Ischia, “the man of mud”, survived by clinging to a shutter

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They renamed him “the mud man”. Giovan Giuseppe «Peppe Tubi Storti» Di Massa, 60 years old, plumber, became the symbol of hope in tragedy of the Ischia landslide, which killed (at least) eight people.

Dragged by the destructive fury of the flood, he saved himself by sticking tenaciously to a window frame so as not to be carried away, until he was rescued by the firefighters.

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Saturday he had woken up at dawn, when it was not yet day. He took the car and, from Porto Ischia, where he lives with his wife and with the younger of his two sons, who works with him in the family business, he headed for Casamicciola, underestimating the weather alert that had been proclaimed. There, in the mountains, there is the house where he grew upthat of his parents, where he still takes refuge today to cultivate his passions: he takes care of the garden and goes hunting.

In Casamicciola, a dull roar puts him on alert: Peppe gets out of the car and is dragged by the landslide. He ends up in a basement and the mud overwhelms him, but he remains firmly clinging to a window frame and there he remains for hours, until help arrives. “I’m hanging,” he shouts to the firefighters who finally save him.

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Peppe struggles to breathe due to swallowing too much mud: after the first check at Rizzoli in Ischia, he is transferred in red code to the Cardarelli emergency room in hypothermia, with crushing of the chest. A drain is applied to his lungs and he is laboriously cleaned of the mud. At first the worst is feared, but Peppe improves, and in the next few days he could already be transferred to the Pulmonology department.

Peppe Di Costanzo, president of the Thermalists of Ischia, who knows him well, is not surprised that he survived the landslide of Ischia. TO Republic explains: «Giuseppe is a very strong person, he is a hard worker, he never loses heartface life with determination. If he hadn’t been so powerful and tenacious, he wouldn’t have been able to survive in those conditions »: And again: « Giuseppe has been working for us for 40 years: we’ve known each other since we were kids. He carries weights, has incredible strength, it’s no surprise that he made it in such a difficult situation.”


Source: Vanity Fair

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