Collaboration with the Italian Army

The UH205 helicopter used by the bomb squad in Antrona

On 27 June 2020, during an exploration in the depths of an abandoned mine in the Antrona Valley, our team discovered the powder magazine.
Inside, scattered on the ground in 4 small piles were a total of 190 explosive sticks.
Presumably it was Dinamon 1, a now obsolete explosive, but instead widely used as an explosive for quarries and mines in the early 1900s.

Following the discovery, we contacted the carabinieri of Villadossola, whose commander Maurizio Pillitteri then notified the 32nd Engineers Regiment of the Taurinense Alpine Brigade.
A few days later, in contact with the Chosen Major Corporal Bomb Disposal, Andrea C., we provided the information they requested, then also organizing an inspection in collaboration with them to identify a good Z.A. (Landing Zone), and to evaluate the explosive and its state of conservation.
A first visual analysis showed that part of the TNT was exuded from the sticks, which now gave the characteristic yellow color to the casing.
But what worried the bomb squads most was that the sticks appeared wet with yellowish droplets, greasy to the touch.
Probably nitroglycerin, highly unstable and dangerous explosive.

Following the inspection, on 29 September 2020 the recovery and inertization operation of the 190 sticks was carried out.
An UH-205A helicopter from the 34th Permanent Aviation Italian Army Detachment “Toro” of Venaria (TO) was used for the mission, which with 3 trips brought 9 operators to Rendez-Vous on the mountain.
In about 4 hours, we reached the mine, and after giving the carabinieri and bomb squad a short briefing, we guided them to the powder magazine. Following the necessary safety procedures, the bomb squads were able to remove the explosive sticks previously found, and once they returned outside they proceeded to reclaim everything through combustion.


The following took part in the Mission:

  • Matteo Di Gioia; Team Leader and Founder of the speleological group, Underground Adventures
  • Marco Zanzottera; Co-founder of the speleological group, Underground Adventures
  • Maurizio Pillitteri; Master Sergeant of the Carabinieri of Villadossola
  • Giovanni Prestigiacomo; Deputy Brigadier of the Carabinieri of Villadossola
  • Andrea C.; Bomb Disposal Lance-Corporal
  • Fabio Corpus; Army Sergeant Major and Core Chief
  • Soldier (we dont know the name); Military Photographer
  • Mr. Napoli; Colonel e Croce Rossa Military Corps Doctor
  • Francesca Vadi; Volunteer Nurse e Chief Hall in the Neurology Department of the San Biagio Hospital in Domodossola.

Below, the articles and TV services that have talked about this operation.

Photo Gallery