Italy: Two dead as train derails near Milan

Europe

06 February 2020, 14:15

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A high-speed train derailed Thursday morning between the Italian cities of Milan and Bologna. Local media reported that two people, including the driver, were killed. 27 other people were injured, but none are in a critical condition. 

Italian news agency ANSA said that the other fatality was also a train employee. One train cleaner had suffered multiple bone fractures, but it was not considered life-threatening.

The Frecciarossa train left Milian at 5:10 am local time, and the accident occured at 5:35. The engine and at least one carriage went off the track near the town of Lodi, Italian rail operator Rete Ferroviaria Italiana said. It had been bound for Salerno, south of Naples.

The train was described as “not very crowded” by Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Initial reports suggested that the engine had broken free of the rest of the train and crashed into a nearby building. At least one carriage, likely the crew compartment, had jumped its tracks and run parallel to the train line for several meters.

The cause of the accident remains unclear, but it occured in an area where maintenance work has been underway.

Italy’s rail network is experiencing severe disruption. All high speed train travel between Milan and Bologna has been temporarily suspended.

The prefect of Lodi, Marcello Cardona, expressed his relief that there had not been more casualties, saying “there could have been a bloodbath.” 

He added that emergency services were on site and investigators were already looking into the incident. Transport Minister Paola De Micheli was also on her way.

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