Reports of Vatican Bombing are FALSE

Certain sensationalists have been blowing up social media over the past hour with breathtaking reports of a “Vatican City Bombing” and descriptions of a huge explosion and fire at the Vatican itself.

Admittedly, pictures and video coming from Rome depicting billowing black smoke are dramatic:

Fortunately, I have friends and colleagues in Rome, and I can report to you with confidence that the fire was not at the Vatican. Just moments before I began writing this, one of my Roman contacts walked up to the roof of her building and took this picture in the direction of St. Peter’s Basilica:


Not even a hint of smoke left in the air.

Another contact who works at the Vatican says:

“There was billowing black smoke earlier, but it was thinning already an hour ago when I got on the train.” He is at the Vatican now, and nothing unusual is going on.

Reports are beginning to come in that the fire originated in a junk yard of some sort west several kilometers from the Vatican. The twitter account of the Direzione Centrale Emergenza e Soccorso Tecnico Vigili  — a Roman emergency fire and rescue department — posted a video of the incident nearly an hour ago as of this writing:

Everyone’s concern is understandable, but this is a false alarm.

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