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Head-on rail collision in southern Italy

12 July 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

A head-on collision between two passenger trains has occurred in southern Italy with reports suggesting at least 23 people have been killed.

Rail collision southern italy

Image: Reuters

According to police reports, two passenger trains travelling at approximately 60mph on a single stretch of track between Corato and Andria near Bari, southern Italy collided head-on killing at least 23 and injuring many more. The collision took place at approximately 11.30 am (0930 GMT) on 12 July. Both trains are operated by Ferrotramviaria and consisted of four carriages each.

“We are working with dozens of rescue teams to open up the carriages,” said a fire service spokesman.

Head-on rail collision in southern Italy

Image: Reuters

Currently, there has been no reason as to why the trains collided in good weather conditions.  Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told reporters “We won’t stop until we get a clear explanation over what happened.”

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, union leaders and railway police have both blamed human error, noting that the particular stretch of track between the towns of Andria and Corato did not have an automatic alert system that would engage if two trains were close to each other on the same track.

State operator Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) has expressed its condolences for the victims of the railway accident and has offered full availability of facilities and technicians for operational support.

Work was underway to create a 13km double track section of line between Corato and Barletta

Head-on rail collision in southern Italy

Ferrotramviaria Network map

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