At least 27 people were killed on Tuesday and dozens injured in a head-on collision between two passenger trains in the Southern Italian region of Puglia, in one of the country’s worst rail accidents in recent years.
Emergency services worked through the night to extract people from the wreckage of smashed carriages thrown across a single track into olive groves near the town of Andria, in what one witness described as an “apocalyptic scene“.
Twenty-seven people, including one of the train drivers, were confirmed to have died, as of shortly after midnight. More than 50 are injured.
As of 7am on Wednesday no further bodies had been recovered, Ansa reported, adding that rescuers were first working to remove pieces of the crashed carriages. Sniffer dogs are also being used to find bodies.
The trains collided on a single track line between the towns of Corato and Andria.
The cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained but there is speculation that is was due to either a “technical glitch” or “human error”. The black box of the train coming from the city of Bari has been found in tact, Ansa reported on Wednesday morning.
The high-speed collision happened on a slight bend in the track in open countryside and flung the front carriages of both trains into olive groves bordering the line, slinging bits of metal from the wreckage.
Investigators said at least one of the trains had been travelling very fast, and it was possible the collision was caused by human error.
One of the four-carriage trains was supposed to have waited at a station for a green light before heading down the track between the towns of Corato and Andria.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi quickly travelled to the scene on Tuesday after interrupting a speech in Milan express his grief for the victims of the disaster.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Graziano Delrio, announced that a commission would be set up to investigate the causes.
|head-on collision||collisione frontale|
|sniffer dog||cane poliziotto|
|single track||binario unico|
|technical glitch||problema tecnico|
|tact||intatto, integro, non danneggiato|
|slight bend||leggera curva|
|to fling||scagliare, lanciare|
|to sling||lanciare, catapultare|
|Infrastructure and Transport Minister||Ministro dei trasporti e delle infrastrutture|