Man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix

A 21 year-old pilgrim was killed Thursday when a 100 foot crucifix, erected in honor of Pope John Paul II, collapsed on top of him in the Alpine village of Cevo in northern Italy. The accident occurred days before John Paul II's canonization.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |  Updated April 25, 2014 at 4:34 PM
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ROME, April 25 (UPI) -- A 100 foot curved wooden crucifix erected in 2005 in honor of Pope John Paul II collapsed on Thursday, killing a young pilgrim.

The incident occurred in the Alpine village of Cevo in northern Italy, days before Pope John Paul II's canonization.

Marco Gusmini, 21, had accompanied his church group to the religious site. "The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions," Mayor Silvio Citroni said. "Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction."

The pilgrim died instantly.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera noted that Gusmini, ironically, resided on a street named after Pope John XXIII in Bergamo.

It is unclear what caused the 1,320 lb. crucifix, anchored by cables, to collapse.

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