They drowned last night in a pond to collect water for irrigation in the Foggiano countryside, between Manfredonia and Zapponeta in Fonterosa. They were called Daniel and Stefan, two Romanian brothers of 6 and 7 years old. The alarm went off around 6:30 p.m. yesterday when the parents, after an afternoon of rest, realized the absence of two little ones. Shortly after, the police arrived at the scene and then the firefighters. The situation became worrying when the two children’s slippers were found near the pool.
Fire divers arrived from Bari and around midnight found and recovered the lifeless bodies of the two children in the tank. The father is a farm laborer, a regular employee of the company where the farm where the children’s family lives is located, who works in the fields of the area.
He has lived on that farm with his wife and children for several years: Daniel and Stefan had two sisters, a younger one and a teenager. A family inserted in the social fabric of Manfredonia, the area where the field where the tragedy occurred falls. The farm is located on the border between the territory of Manfredonia and that of Zapponeta. Estate consisting of three buildings, one of which has two floors. No signs of abandonment. The structures are equipped with electricity, toilets and water.
The Foggia public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the incident for involuntary manslaughter: for the moment, however, there is no suspect. Among the hypotheses that the researchers are examining is also that the children have decided to take a dip in the pool to escape the heat of the day. The basin, 40 by 40 meters and three meters deep, is located just in front of the cabin where the two children lived. Tank enclosed by a metal mesh more than one meter high. Except in a place where there is a hole that is easy to enter.
The investigation will serve to understand who could have made that hole and why. However, an uncle of Daniel and Stefan rules out that the two children could have entered the tub to take a bath. “The children -explained the relative- were not used to bathing in the tub. They knew that going to that place was dangerous and that they could not go. Sometimes they played with the frogs but always in front of the cabin. Perhaps they could have fallen into the pond while chasing a frog. They knew better than to go in the pond and always played in front of the cabin. The family slept while the children played outside. But like I said, they always played in front of the cabin and didn’t leave for any reason.”
From the municipal administration of Manfredonia they explain that the family of the two children had never had problems of any kind and the intervention of social services or Cáritas had never been necessary.
The mayor: shocked by the tragedy
Gianni Rotice, the mayor of Manfredonia wrote on Facebook that “the tragedy of the two little brothers shocked our community and all of Italy in the middle of the night. Despite the first dramatic details of the story, we all hoped until the end that they could be found.” . safe and sound. The Manfredonia community gathers with deep sorrow and affection around the family of the two victims.”
The Bishop: immigration drama
“Another drama linked to immigration has occurred this year in the territory of our archdiocese: the responsible awareness of public opinion and the concrete commitment of civil institutions to find ways of solving the enormous problems of the peripheral areas of the municipal area. , located in the great plain of the Tavoliere, where already with tight deadlines we see too many people die of hunger, misery, lack of custody of minors and lack of security “, he reports it Mgr. Franco Moscone, Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo.
“A serious welcome plan is needed for migrant brothers and sisters, which allows them to take advantage of safe homes, adequate social services and common environments to make their lives dignified and dignified: they are workers of our lands and agricultural businesses who deserve all the guarantees, like any citizen – says the bishop -. Even more so the children, their children, who are often left alone for long hours because of their parents’ work or to look for alms and food”.
Archbishop Moscone points out that “emigration is also linked to the serious problem of childhood, very often left without parental supervision, dedicated to field work and, above all, deprived of the necessary and irreplaceable education, both primary and secondary. educational. We can only remember them when misfortunes happen like the death of these two little ones”.
The funeral in charge of Caritas
Caritas Manfredonia will cover the costs of Daniel and Stefan’s funeral, which will be held on Thursday afternoon at Manfredonia Cathedral.
The tragedies of immigrants in the Foggia area
On December 17, 2021 Christian, 4 years old, and Birka, 2 years old, Bulgarian gypsy brothers, died in the fire of their hut in the nomad camp in the foggia town of Stornara. A ghetto that was ignored or that nobody wanted to see, even the drama. “This drama just a few days before Christmas summons our consciences but above all it summons the conscience of our administrators. These people need to find a territory that is hospitable and that does not cause this way of life to end in tragedy, that of the ghettos, which unfortunately is widespread in our country”, were the forceful words of Monsignor Luigi Renna, then Bishop of Cerignola . Ascoli Satriano and today Archbishop of Catania, President of the Commission for Social Problems and Labour, Justice and Peace of the CEI. The four drowned in the irrigation tanks are still linked to the ghettos. On September 23, 2005, two immigrants of Senegalese nationality drowned in an irrigation tank. in the town of “Tretitoli” in the Cerignola countryside, one of the many ghettos where foreign workers still live. On July 23, 2015, a 45-year-old Bulgarian farm worker drowned after slipping on an irrigation tank. in the Passo Breccioso countryside, about ten kilometers from Foggia. On July 11, 2021, still in Borgo “Tre Titoli” and still in an irrigation tank, Bassiru Djumma, 29 years old from Togo, also a worker, drowns. She wanted to collect water with a bucket to take a shower after many hours of work in the sun. Because there is no water in the ghettos, let alone toilets and showers. All drama denounces the insecurity of the basins, but the deaths are repeated.