Man ‘rips out own eyes’ in Italian church

A man stunned churchgoers by tearing out his own eyes at a mass service in Viareggio, northern Italy, on Sunday.

Aldo Bianchini, 46, was believed to have been suffering from mental health problems. Surgeons were unable to save his sight after he was taken to a local hospital from the Sant’Andrea church.

UK-born Bianchini has lived in Italy for many years, he reportedly told surgeons that he “heard voices” telling him to gouge his eyes.

Dr Gino Barbacci, who attempted to repair the damage, said Bianchini had “super-human” strength to pull out his own eyes. Many of the congregation fled in fear after the incident.

“In all my 26 years of service I have never seen anything like this before. He did not complain and seemed to feel no pain even though it was a mask of blood,” Dr Barbacci said.

“We tried to operate and save his sight by reinserting the eye balls in both sockets but there was nothing we could do and he will now remain blind,” he added.

“I’ve never seen so much blood as today [Sunday],” said the church’s priest, Father Tanganelli. “I called for assistance and the paramedics were at the scene. We were lucky that one of the closest people to him was an off-duty paramedic.” 

Bianchini, an unemployed chemistry graduate, had previously been given treatment by a psychiatrist, reported Italian newspaper Bresciaoggi.  

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