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FOOTBALL

Italy police target balcony match-goers

Police in Frosinone, a town near Rome, have taken measures to try to stop fans from watching football games from the balconies of houses near the stadium following the newly promoted Serie A side's game against AS Roma on Saturday.

Italy police target balcony match-goers
Police have told fans of newly promoted Frosinone to stop watching their team's matches from the balconies of homes overlooking the stadium. Photo: Avi Tm/Flickr

For football-mad Italians who are lucky enough to be living in one of the buildings overlooking the stadium, the occasion of Frosinone's derby match against AS Roma was a good opportunity to invite friends and relatives around to watch it live.

After all, the side are competing in their first ever season in Itay's top flight and the Stadio Mantusa, where Frosinone play their home games, holds just 10,000 people.

But in the eyes of the Police, inviting people around to watch the game poses a threat to public safety.

In a public notice made after the match, the police called attention to the “large presence of people on balconies and in attics overlooking the stadium,” and announced that they would be asking building administrators to prevent so many people entering the residences on match days.

“Such a crowd of fans puts public safety at risk, because it raises the possibility of structural damage and collapse,” said the notice.

This is not the first incidence of Italian football fans going to great lengths to see a game.

In 2006, Juventus, freshly relegated on the back if the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, made their way to Calabria to face minnows, Crotone.

It was the hottest ticket in town, but Crotone's stadium, the Enzio Scida, only holds 4,000 spectators.

Fortunately, the ground is overlooked by the San Giovanni di Dio hospital. And so for the Juventus game the director of the local health authority decided to allow people to watch the game from the upper floor corridors – and closed the hospital from 3pm on the day of the match.

“After that you'll only be allowed in if it's a serious case,” the hospital's announcement at the time said.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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