Qella maledetta notte in via Palestro

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Faceva molto, troppo caldo, quella maledetta sera del 27 luglio 1993. Era ormai piena estate, l’afa era opprimente e l’umidità innaturale e insolita, almeno a Milano. Era più consona, forse, a una capitale asiatica, magari a Bangkok. Ero tornato a casa tardi dal lavoro e avevo deciso di non uscire dopo cena. Nonostante le finestre spalancate e il ventilatore a soffitto acceso, stavo soffrendo il caldo in modo particolare. Mi penetrava nei polmoni e mi invadeva tutto, attraverso il respiro. Avevo gli occhi lucidi, velati dalle migliaia di goccioline di sudore che mi imperlavano la fronte e scendevano, oltrepassandomi le sopracciglia, fino alle palpebre. Mi impedivano perfino di vedere bene la televisione. All’improvviso un boato. Un’esplosione terribile, devastante, che mi fa balzare giù dal letto. Gli allarmi cominciano a suonare come impazziti, la tv interrompe i suoi programmi, per lasciare spazio alle edizioni straordinarie dei telegiornali, il mio telefono che inizia a squillare. “Pronto, ma che cazzo succede?”, chiedo a chi mi sta chiamando in quel momento, senza sapere con chi sto parlando. “Sono Massimo, hai sentito?”. “E come non potrei? Dovrei essere sordo”…”Cosa facciamo?” “Non lo so, proviamo a chiamare Stefano”. Io, Massimo e Stefano lavoriamo a Rete A. La deformazione professionale assume contorni ancor più deformati. Chiamiamo il reparto tecnico e chiediamo una troupe. Ci ricordano che ne abbiamo soltanto due e non sono entrambe disponibili. Una è andata all’elezione di “Miss Riccione” e l’altra non si da dove. Cazzo, cazzo, e ancora cazzo…Telefono alla mia fidanzata di allora, Stefania. Le chiedo di prestarci la sua telecamera, chiaramente non professionale, saltiamo in macchina, passiamo a prenderla e sgommiamo sul luogo del disastro. Già, il disastro. Attorno alle 23, due vigili urbani passano con l’auto di servizio da via Palestro e vengono avvicinati da un gruppo di persone che segnala la presenza di un’auto, una Fiat Uno di colore grigio, parcheggiata davanti al Museo di Arte Contemporanea, dalla quale esce del fumo biancastro. Qualche minuto dopo arrivano i vigili del fuoco, che spalancano tutte le portiere della macchina e notano la presenza, all’interno del bagagliaio, di un involucro di grosse dimensioni chiuso con del nastro adesivo e con due fili che si perdono nell’abitacolo. Temendo che possa trattarsi di un ordigno esplosivo, ordinano di evacuare la zona. Ma non c’è tempo di procedere con l’operazione, di capire, di scappare, di provare a mettersi in salvo. In una frazione di secondo, scatta la trappola mortale: l’utilitaria salta in aria, facendo una strage. Muoiono tre vigili del fuoco, uno dei vigili urbani e un extracomunitario, un marocchino senza fissa dimora, che dormiva, ignaro, su una panchina dei vicini Giardini Pubblici. Viene trasportato agonizzante al Policlinico, ma cessa di vivere durante il trasporto. Un’altra dozzina di persone che passavano di là restano ferite, più o meno gravemente. L’esplosione danneggia anche il sistema di illuminazione pubblica, distrugge un distributore di benzina, frantuma i vetri delle abitazioni in un raggio di circa 300 metri, scoperchia i tombini, lesiona il muro esterno del Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea, nella stessa via Palestro, e raggiunge la condotta del gas sottostante alla sede stradale, che prende fuoco. I vigili del fuoco non riescono a domare l’incendio. All’alba, verso le 4.30, scoppia anche una sacca di gas, che si è formata proprio sotto il Padiglione. La seconda esplosione distrugge decine di quadri di grande valore e danneggia anche la Villa Reale, che ospita la Galleria d’Arte Moderna. Arriviamo sul posto, già tutto transennato. La confusione è indescrivibile, si mescola alla paura. I lampeggianti accesi delle ambulanze, dei pompieri, della polizia e dei carabinieri sono cosi tanti che accecano. Le fiamme sono alte, altissime, fanno paura solo a guardarle, gelano il sangue nelle vene. Cerchiamo di aprirci un varco tra quella folla di gente in divisa, tra la gente comune che si accalca, cercando di vedere qualcosa, ma è impossibile. Ci muoviamo come mosche impazzite, imprigionate in un bicchiere, come scimmie intrappolate in un labirinto. Poi torniamo sui nostri passi e proviamo a girare intorno all’isolato, finiamo in via Manin, su quel lato i Giardini non sono controllati. Scavalchiamo la recinzione, piuttosto bassa, saltiamo in un fosso, piuttosto alto, e con un balzo siamo dentro al parco. Avanziamo lentamente, circospetti, guardandoci attorno. Arriviamo a pochissimi metri da quell’inferno. Il fumo è acre, il calore delle fiamme aumenta la temperatura di quella maledetta sera d’estate, l’odore di gas è insopportabile, roba da svenire. Il terrore prende forma, si può toccare. Ci sono i corpi straziati dei morti, i feriti che urlano, che chiedono disperatamente aiuto. I rottami sono sparsi ovunque. Siamo sbigottiti, ma riusciamo a riprendere, ancora increduli e annichiliti dal dolore, quelle scene strazianti. Ad un tratto, si materializzano davanti a noi alcune figure, sembrano poliziotti, ma non siamo sicuri. Comunque scappiamo via, veloci, con il fiatone e un groppo in gola. Corriamo più che possiamo, finché con un altro balzo felino siamo fuori dai Giardini. Ci giriamo, ancora una volta, a guardare quell’assurdo scenario, senza dire una parola. Saltiamo in macchina e voliamo in redazione. I colleghi sono già tutti lì. Mettiamo insieme, in fretta e furia, un’edizione straordinaria del nostro tg. Non riesco quasi a parlare, ho la voce rotta dal pianto, ma parte la sigla, si accende la luce della telecamera e comincio a raccontare quella notte maledetta di una stagione già segnata dalle violenze e dal sangue di tanti, troppi morti innocenti. Finisco la diretta e scoppio a piangere. Il direttore mi fa i complimenti e cerca di confortarmi, io lo ringrazio, ma non riesco quasi a sentire le sue parole. Sono a pezzi e vado a casa, ma non riesco a dormire, ho l’adrenalina che va a mille all’ora. Penso e piango, piango e penso. E fa sempre un cazzo di caldo…

Qualche ora dopo torno in redazione, ancora stropicciato da quella maledetta notte. Giornali, radio e tv vomitano notizie, dati, dettagli, nuove informazioni. Le ascolto assorto, quasi distratto, in realtà inebetito. La strage di via Palestro segue, a distanza di due mesi, quella di via Georgofili, a Firenze, dove nella notte fra il 26 e il 27 maggio viene fatto esplodere un furgoncino Fiat Fiorino imbottito di esplosivo nei pressi della storica Torre dei Pulci, tra gli Uffizi e l’Arno, sede, appunto, dell’Accademia dei Georgofili. Nello scoppio perdono la vita cinque persone, tra le quali una bambina di nove anni, mentre un’altra cinquantina rimangono ferite. Oltre alla Torre, vengono distrutte moltissime abitazioni e perfino la Galleria degli Uffizi subisce gravi danneggiamenti. E un giorno dopo la tragedia milanese, quasi alla stessa ora, esplodono due bombe anche a Roma, che danneggiano gravemente la Chiesa di San Giorgio al Velabro e la Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. Tutti gli attentati sono stati attribuiti a Cosa Nostra, che puntava a distruggere il patrimonio artistico italiano, compromettere le attività turistiche, uccidere indiscriminatamente, per imporre allo Stato un odioso ricatto, di scendere a patti, di eliminare il carcere duro per i mafiosi, di modificare la legge sui collaboratori di giustizia, di chiudere penitenziari, come l’Asinara e Pianosa, che impedivano i rapporti tra i capi dietro le sbarre e i complici in libertà. Le sentenze l’hanno addebitata agli stessi esponenti mafiosi ritenuti responsabili di aver deciso una sorta di “stato di guerra contro l’Italia”, e che non sono sfuggiti alla giustizia. Molti anni dopo, un pentito di mafia, Gaspare Spatuzza, ha espresso “malessere”, parola sua, nei confronti degli attentati, di quelle stragi del ‘93, e chiesto il perdono di Roma, Firenze e Milano. Ma troppo tardi…

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