Maria Vittoria Prati, 66, the CNR researcher who was aboard the experimental car that exploded last Friday on the Naples ring road, didn’t make it. The woman had suffered third-degree burns on 90 percent of her body, and her conditions had immediately appeared very serious to the doctors at the Cardarelli hospital, where her death took place today.
Maria Vittoria Prati, for thirty years at the engine institute of the Cnr in Naples, an engineer, was considered a reference name in the field of the study of emissions and the use of alternative fuels. With her, on the experimental hybrid-powered car (diesel plus energy from a solar panel) that exploded, was the 25-year-old trainee student Fulvio Filace, who was also hospitalized after the accident in the burns department of Cardarelli. The young man underwent surgery today and another operation is scheduled for him tomorrow. His prognosis remains confidential.
The Naples prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the episode, for now against unknown persons, in the context of which a Cnr executive was heard today. In addition, the seizure of a twin car to the one destroyed was also ordered, a Volkswagen Polo Tdi, a prototype used as part of a project called “Life-Save” aimed at testing the possibility of combining an electric motor with batteries powered by panels to cars equipped with a thermal engine with the aim of reducing emissions into the environment.
According to what has emerged so far, the powerful explosion, which only for a fortuitous case did not involve other cars, was determined by the cylinders whose content, at the moment, remains unknown: a report by the fire brigade will shed light on the type of gases they contained. The official was questioned this morning by the traffic police as part of the investigation coordinated by the Naples prosecutor’s office (sixth section, deputy prosecutor Simona Di Monte). The twin car of the destroyed one, which was seized by the Stradale in Fisciano, will be used for subsequent investigations that the Neapolitan investigating office could shortly entrust to consultants. The University of Salerno, indicated by some sources as the owner of the destroyed car, today denied this circumstance. The Neapolitan deputy Francesco Emilio Borrelli (Avs) continues to follow the story closely, urging clarity on the still obscure sides of the incident and announcing a parliamentary question.
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