On September 9, 1966, the customs officers Herbert Volgger and Martino Cossu were killed by an explosion in a barracks of the Guardia di Finanza at Steinalm near the Brenner Pass. The Lieutenant of Customs Franco Petrucci was severely injured, and died a few days later.

In Italy, the BAS activists Jörg Klotz, Richard Kofler, Alois Larch, and Alois Rainer are still blamed for the incident Rosa Klotz, the wife of Jörg Klotz, was arrested in South Tyrol. In 1966, the accused parties were living in exile in Austria.

Numerous expert opinions on the case written by forensic experts proof with considerable certainty that a tank of pressurized gas exploded in the barracks. A crate of hand grenades had been stored next to the tank.

As always whenever incidents like this, the Italian government sent a diplomatic note to Austria, claiming that Austria was “partially to blame” because the Austrian authorities allegedly did too little to combat terrorism in Italy.


Further information on the incidents at the Reschen Pass, at the Pfitscher Pass, at the Steinalm, and many others:

  • Hubert Speckner, Von der “Feuernacht” zur “Porzescharte” …. Das “Südtirolproblem” der 1960er Jahre in den österreichischen sicherheitsdienstlichen Akten. Wien 2016. [Hubert Speckner, “From the ‘Night of Flames’ to the ‘Porze Gap’ … The ‘South Tyrol Problem’ of the 1960s in the official files of the Austrian security forces.” Vienna, 2016]