Six managers at the German steel giant ThyssenKrupp have gone on trial in Italy over the deaths of seven employees in a fire in 2006.
The head of the group’s Italian division Harald Espenhahn is charged with voluntary homicide, a first in Italy for a workplace accident. The other five are accused of manslaughter. The workers died in a fire sparked by an explosion at the Turin plant in December 2006, shortly before it was due to be shut down. The victims’ families claim the managers neglected security at the factory after the closure was decided. Last June, ThyssenKrupp reached an agreement with the victims’ families, paying out a total of 14-million euros in damages. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in recent years, and sparked an emotional outcry in Italy, which has one of the worst records for workplace accidents in the developed world.