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Negligence? Victims’ lawyer claims Bondo disaster was predicted

villlage of Bondo with mountains

Eight people died in the landslide that hit the remote village of Bondo in August 2017.

(Keystone)

The lawyer for families of people who died in the 2017 Bondo landslide claims that there were advance signs of the disaster and that the necessary security measures were not taken. 

In a letter sent to Swiss radio SRF on Friday, he contests the previous conclusion by canton Graubunden’s judicial authorities that the disaster could not have been predicted and therefore no one could be accused of negligence. 

The lawyer writes that measures taken two weeks before the landslide showed movements of an unstable rocky mass on the Piz Cengalo mountain had increased sharply. Experts predicted that there would be a big landslide in the coming weeks or months and the authorities did not take the necessary security measures, he says. 

It will now be up to the Graubunden cantonal court to decide whether to reopen the case. 

In August 2017, three million cubic metres of rock crashed down from the Piz Cengalo mountain in eastern Switzerland, triggering a landslide into the valley. It was the largest landslide in Switzerland in over 130 years. 

Eight hikers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were killed, and several houses destroyed in the disaster. Around 500,000 cubic metres of rubble and mud flowed down the Val Bondasca to Bondo and the surrounding settlements of Promontogno, Sottoponte and Spino.


Keystone-SDA/jc

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