Suspected bank robber rescued from tunnel near Vatican

An Italian man has been rescued from a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican - and police suspect he could have been burrowing his way into a bank.

He is now recovering in hospital after firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road.

But he may now need to dig himself out of further trouble, as police have arrested him and a second man for damage to public property.

Officers believe he may have been part of a gang trying to break into a bank.

Two other men were arrested for "resisting a public official" after trying to escape from the site, Rai News reports.

Three of the four men managed to escape before the tunnel collapsed, leaving the final man trapped six metres below.

"We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories," a police spokesman told the AFP news agency.

The tunnel, which began in an empty, newly-rented shop, was in an area close to two banks.

Local media believe the motive to be clear, noting that the tunnel was found near a bank shortly before the 15 August long weekend, when much of the city empties.

"The hole gang," read the headline in the Corriere della Sera daily.

Michele, a resident who lives in the same building, said residents had no idea what was going on, adding: "We all thought that the people there were renovating the place."


Photo AFP