1 killed and 60 injured in Rome train crash

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The Independent Online

A speeding subway train rammed into another train halted at a station in central Rome during the morning rush hour today, killing at least one person and injuring about 60 others.

Fire department spokesman Giorgio Alocci said that two people had died, but government officials later said only the death of one woman had been confirmed.

Italian reports said the victim was an Italian woman in her 30s. Reports that the driver of one of the trains had been killed were later denied. The man was pulled out alive from the rubble, officials said.

Atac, Rome's public transport company, said one train was stopped in the station when it was hit from behind by another traveling at a high speed. Some passengers said the driver of the second train appeared to have run a red light.

About 60 people were injured, including 10 seriously, said another Rome fire department spokesman, Luca Cari. Television footage showed stunned and bloodied passengers being led out of the station, while onlookers watched from behind police lines.

Ambulances, firefighters and rescue teams rushed to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II subway station, near Rome's main railway station, following the 9 a.m. crash. Rescue workers set up a field hospital nearby, where they treated dozens with light injuries.

Firefighters had to free at least one more person trapped in the wreckage, Cari said. "For now, we don't know about any more people trapped, but we can't rule it out," he said. "We are untangling the two trains, the oncoming one went 2-3 meters (yards) into the carriage of the stopped train."

Passenger Andrew Trovaioli, 38, said one of the trains appeared to have missed a stop light.

"I saw the red light as the train moved into the station," Trovaioli said.

"I saw lots of blood, the impact was brutal," said Trovaioli, who suffered a slight injury to his elbow. He said he saw about 10 people lying on the ground, and three or four covered in rubble.

"There was panic for some 30 seconds. We were not told how to get out," he said.

One passenger told Sky Italia that lights went out immediately after the crash. Another passenger in the first carriage of the moving train said he saw the accident unfold through the driver's front window.

"I saw clearly the red light. I saw the situation, that the metro ahead of us was stopped at the station," said the unidentified passenger, adding that he managed to escape serious injury because he stepped back just seconds before the impact crushed the front of his car.

The cause of the accident was not known. Atac said the station remained closed.

The Rome Film Festival said in a news release that screenings and news conferences would open with a moment of silence, and that all side events were being canceled out of respect for the victims.

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