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Italian train collision kills 18

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Italian train collision kills 18

Eighteen people are reported to have been killed and many others injured in a train crash near Bologna in Italy.

A regional express train crashed head-on into a freight train, derailing its engine as the goods train ploughed into passenger carriages.

Italian officials say the accident happened on a stretch of single-track near Bolognina di Crevalcore on Friday.

Around 200 rescue workers were quickly at the scene to rescue passengers and treat the injured.

Some of the carriages were derailed by the impact, which pushed left one of the carriages vertical in the twisted wreckage. Heavy iron construction girders being carried by the goods train are said to have been hurled into one of the passenger carriages.

Passengers have described their terrifying ordeal.

"I can hardly speak. I am still in shock from the terror, the fear," one survivor told an Italian television programme. "I saw this thing I thought was a tree trunk or maybe a house, then I saw through the window on my right a carriage up this high, vertical."

Cause unclear

Firefighter chief Giuseppe Lo Presti said one carriage was "not only completely destroyed, but it has crumpled, while another carriage is hanging over the fourth passenger carriage".

Raffaele Ricciardi, spokesman for the Bologna local authority, told AFP news agency: "There are 14 dead for sure and very probably four other people who died according to what firefighters and health authorities at the scene are telling us."

He added there were "four or five seriously injured and more than 50 slightly injured". The nationality of the victims has not yet been established.

The drivers of both trains are thought to be among the dead.

The crash happened at 1200 GMT on the Bologna-Verona route. The goods train was travelling from Bologna and the passenger train had left Verona at 1039 GMT.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome said the cause of the crash was not immediately clear, although it occurred on a section of the track which is limited to single line traffic.

Visibility at the crash site was only about 50m (160ft) , due to persistent dense fog.

Powerful search lights are being used to help rescue workers locate trapped passengers.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...ope/4155073.stm

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