Pierlucio Tinazzi

Pierlucio Tinazzi

Birth
Death 24 Mar 1999 (aged 36)
Italy
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 15591992 · View Source
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an Italian security guard who perished while rescuing survivors of the 1999 Mont Blanc tunnel fire. Part of his job involved riding back and forth through the tunnel on his motorcycle to keep traffic flowing, dispatching tow trucks and providing motorist assistance as needed. Pierlucio had turned down a promotion to work the control booth at the main Italian office because he preferred to ride over sitting in an office.

On the day of the accident Tinazzi had been taking a rest break, and was getting ready to make a run back through the tunnel when the fire alarms went off. He had a two-way comm system in his helmet that kept him in contact with the Italian tunnel office. As soon as he was notified of the developing emergency in the tunnel, he grabbed breathing equipment and drove his BMW K75 back into the tunnel. As he came across people trying to get out, he stopped and told them to stay low, stay close to the wall (where fresh air was pumped in by the ventilation ducts) and keep moving, stopping only to breath at the ducts. He then decided to continue on into the hottest and most dangerous part of the fire despite the risk to his own personal safety.

Tinazzi searched for survivors among the wreckage and those who had already succumbed to the fire's ill effects. Tinazzi put the survivors on the back of his bike and shuttled back out the French side as fast as possible, bringing out victim after victim, then going back for the next one. On Tinazzi's fifth trip into the tunnel, he came across Maurice Lebras, a French truck driver who was unconscious but still alive. Too big and unwieldy to get onto the back of the bike unconscious, Tinazzi refused to abandon him. Instead he wrestled Maurice into fire refuge #20 and closed the door.

The original fire doors were rated to survive for 2 hours. Some had been upgraded in the 34 years since the tunnel was built to survive for 4 hours, but refuge #20 wasn't one of them. However, even the upgraded fire refuges could not withstand the intense heat of the tunnel fire, which raged for over 50 hours. Pierlucio's BMW melted right into the pavement a few yards from refuge 20.

Tinazzi's heroism and bravery saved at least 10 people from certain death.

The Itaiian goverment postumously awarded him the Gold Medal of Civil Valor.


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  • Created by: Metal_Snake
  • Added: 3 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15591992
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pierlucio Tinazzi (27 Dec 1962–24 Mar 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15591992, ; Maintained by Metal_Snake (contributor 46829021) Unknown.