March 6, 2013
The causes of the fire that destroyed the City of Science in Naples on Monday night are still unknown. The keeper noticed the smoke and sounded the alarm, but, only a few minutes later, the fire had already spread to the whole structure, aided by the high amount of wood in the area. The fire front was longer than 100 metres, and first estimates say the area on fire to measure around 10-12 thousand square metres, as only one of the wings of the strucutre was not touched by the flames, the one with the "Teatro delle Nuvole" ("Theater of the Clouds"). A handful of minutes was enough to blow away structures like the planetarium, the interactive museum, the business incubator, that attracted 350,000 visitors a year. Also the server that hosted the website was sweeped away by the blaze. 160 workers are seriously worried about their future. Arson is the most likely explanation for what happened, although there is no proof for it yet, because the area of the fire is tto wide, and the propagation was too fast, to be all caused by a short circuit in a single spot. Moreover, some pictures that were posted by witnesses in different social network platforms lead to the conclusion that the fire started from more than one spot at the same time.
The investigation was appointed to two prosecutor, one of them being specialised in mafia crimes, because of the presence of mafia clans in the zone of the accident (Bagnoli). Also the DIGOS, the forensic lab, Carabinieri, the flying squad and the Fire Fighter Corps are investigating on the case. Furthermore, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, is evaluating the possibility of helping the rebuilding of the City with european funds, thanks to the importance that the structure had acquired along these few years at a european level.