Train derails in Italy, seven dead
At least seven people were killed and dozens injured today when a train derailed in northern Italy.world Updated: Apr 12, 2010 17:33 IST
At least seven people were killed and dozens injured on Monday when a train derailed in northern Italy.
Investigators said a landslide may have caused the accident, which occurred at 9.05 am on the Val Venosta line near the town of Merano in the Trentino-Alto Adige region.
Workers from Italy's civil protection agency set up a field hospital and paramilitary carabinieri police, ambulance teams and rescue workers were administering first aid to "a large number" of injured passengers.
At least five of the wounded passengers were in a serious condition, sources in the civil protection agency told Adnkronos International (AKI) news agency.
The train reportedly struck a mound of earth and a rock as it was passing through a narrow gorge and plunged down a slope. It came to a precarious stop against two pine trees which prevented it from falling into the Adige river.
The compartment at the front of the train was completely destroyed in the accident. Fire fighters set up a hoist to stabilise the train and used rope ladders to climb to the train from the river bank to reach injured passengers.
The single track where the accident occurred is one of Italy's newest and opened in 2005. It is managed by a company from the autonomous province of Bolzano.
A nearby state highway was closed after the accident.