Man crushed by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope

The Dosso del'Androla cross in Cevo, Italy, that fell earlier today, pictured in 2008. Credit: Luca Giarelli

A man has been crushed to death after a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II collapsed, just days before a historic Papal canonisation in Rome.

The 30-metre-high (98ft) wooden and concrete cross fell during a ceremony in the Italian Alpine village of Cevo, near Brescia. Another man was taken to hospital.

The structure was dedicated to John Paul II on his visit to the region in 1998.

In a strange co-incidence, the 21-year-old man named as Marco Gusmini by local media, was reported to live in a street named after Pope John XXIII – who will also be canonised in the ceremony on Sunday, Italian media has reported.

The two giants of Roman Catholicism in the 20th century will become saints on Sunday at a twin canonisation, an event unprecedented in the 2,000-year history of the church.