Fire destroys Rome's Pineta Sacchetti auditorium

Police launch enquiry into fire at auditorium building site.

The auditorium in Rome's Pineta Sacchetti district, which has been in construction on and off for the last 13 years, was destroyed by a fire on the morning of 30 November.

The Rome prosecutor has launched an investigation into the circumstances behind the fire which engulfed the dome roof of the building on Via Albergotti.

The fire broke out while builders were carrying out welding on the municipal structure, which has cost the city more than €1.6 million since work began in October 2003. It has been reported that workers on the site had no fire extinguishers to put out the flames.

The 200-seater auditorium, which has never been used, was intended to become a cultural venue for residents of the Trionfale area of Rome, with access from the nearby Cornelia metro station.

However in recent years it has become synonymous with anti-social activity. Its abandoned car park is used as a makeshift homeless shelter and in 2011 a 17-year-old girl was gang-raped at the site.