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Two researchers die after EU-funded hybrid car explodes in Italy

ROME — Two people have died after a hybrid car prototype that was being developed and tested with European Union funds blew up last week in the southern Italian city of Naples.

The Life-Save project aims to turn cars with conventional combustion engines into hybrid vehicles, running at least partially on solar energy.

One vehicle equipped with the experimental technology caught fire last Friday, seriously injuring the two people who were on board.

Maria Vittoria Prati, a researcher at Italy’s National Council of Research (CNR), died of complications from third-degree burns on Monday.

The other occupant, research apprentice Fulvio Filace, died overnight, a spokesperson for the Cardarelli hospital in Naples told Reuters on Thursday.

Both Prati and Filace were hospitalized “in very serious conditions” but “there was more hope of saving” Filace “given his younger age,” the spokesperson, Pietro Rinaldi, said.

“But it wasn’t enough,” he added.

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