High-speed train derails in Italy

Thursday, February 6, 2020

OSPEDALETTO LODIGIANO, Italy (AP) — A high-speed passenger train derailed in northern Italy before dawn Thursday and its detached engine slammed into a work train car on an adjacent track, ripped away part of a building wall and flipped around. Two train workers were killed and 28 people were injured, authorities said.

The state-railway Freccia Rossa train went off the rails on the heavily used Milan-Bologna line about 5:30 a.m. while traveling at a speed of nearly 180 mph, Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli told state radio. 

Girolamo Fabiano, a railroad police official, said work had been done during the night on the stretch of track where the derailment happened. He said it was unclear if that was a factor in the train going off the tracks. Prosecutors and railroad experts are investigating.

Italian news channel Sky TG24 said the work occurred on a track switch area not far from the derailment site.

State railways said the two fatalities were train engineers. Prefect Marcello Cardona said another railroad worker, part of the cleaning staff, was seriously injured. One passenger was seriously injured and 26 other passengers suffered less serious injuries, authorities said.

“The engine car kept going, 100 meters, at high speed,” Cardona told reporters at the crash site, near the town of Ospedaletto Lodigiano. 

Besides striking the isolated work car, the out-of-control engine car clipped an unoccupied railways building in its runaway path, ripping away part of an exterior wall of a railways maintenance building, AP photos indicated.