Rome – A woman and two of her children were crushed to death when part of a building collapsed in northern Italy as a third child, a nine-year-old boy, looked on, Italian news agencies reported on Thursday.
The accident occurred on Wednesday in the town of Albizzate, on the outskirts of Milan, when a cornice nearly 70m long suddenly fell from the one-storey building, crashing onto the street.
The woman, of Moroccan origin, and her five-year-old son were killed on the spot, while her 15-month-old daughter died later in hospital, the ANSA news agency said.
The nine-year-old was across the street when the mass of stone and brick crushed the others. A 42-year-old woman was also injured.
It took search-and-rescue workers several hours to dig out the victims' bodies from the rubble, the reports said.
The old industrial building houses several businesses. A "twin" building which includes a supermarket has been shut.