Mon, Nov 16, 2015 - Page 6 News List

PARIS ATTACKS: Thirty years after Heysel, Italian has second close call

PAPAL PROTECTION?Massimiliano Natalucci’s sister told a newspaper that a kiss from Pope John Paul II protected her brother from harm

AFP, PARIS

An Italian tourist on Friday had a second lucky escape when he emerged from the bloodiest scene of the Paris attacks with only a slight injury, 30 years after surviving the deadly Heysel Stadium disaster in Brussels.

Massimiliano Natalucci’s family told Italian newspaper Corriere Adriatico that the 45-year-old had escaped with only scratches on one leg in the Bataclan attack, which left 89 people dead.

A friend who attended the concert by the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal with him was not so lucky and had to undergo an operation on Saturday after being hit in the shoulder.

“The terrorists were just 3m from them the whole time,” Natalucci’s father told the paper.

Almost exactly 30 years ago, on May 29, 1985, Natalucci, aged 15, was with his father and uncle at the Heysel Stadium for the European Cup final, when a wall collapsed, killing 39 people.

Then, as on Friday, Natalucci was unhurt.

His sister Federica has a theory about her brother’s luck: A kiss from Pope Jean Paul II has protected her brother during both disasters.

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