Employer of Indian man who died while working in Italy farm arrested

Wednesday 10th July 2024 07:14 EDT

Rome: Italian police arrested the employer of an Indian farm labourer who was left on the road to die after a work accident that severed his arm and crushed his legs. Antonello Lovato was arrested for second degree murder over the death of Satnam Singh, who was injured while working on a farm in Latina, a rural area south of Rome where tens of thousands of Indian farmhands work.

"If the Indian, who died due to copious blood loss, had been promptly helped, he would in all likelihood have been saved," the Latina prosecutors' office said, citing a medical examiner.

Satnam Singh, who was 31 and working without legal papers, had his arm sliced off by a machine which also crushed his legs.

Antonello then dumped Satnam and his wife on the roadside, along with the severed limb in a box, according to trade unions who are supporting Satnam's widow. "The worker's condition after the accident was so serious as to make the need for prompt assistance clear," the prosecutors' office said.

Prosecutors said an ongoing investigation would continue into working conditions on the farm.

Undocumented workers in the region where the farm is located are paid an average of 20 euros ($21) a day for up to 14 hours labour, according to the Osservatorio Placido Rizzotto, which analyses conditions in the agriculture industry.

Italy's financial police identified nearly 60,000 undocumented workers from January 2023 to June 2024. But Italy's largest trade union CGIL estimates that as many as 230,000 people - over a quarter of the country's seasonal agricultural workers - do not have a contract.

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