Train collision in northern Italy kills 14, officials say

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The Independent Online

A passenger train and a freight train collided in thick fog today in northern Italy, killing 14 people and injuring dozens, rescue officials said.

A passenger train and a freight train collided in thick fog today in northern Italy, killing 14 people and injuring dozens, rescue officials said.

The crash, on a line between Bologna and Verona, left several train cars in a wreck of buckled metal. At least one carriage was lifted high into the air by the force of the collision.

The crash happened at lunchtime in a rural area of Bolognina di Crevalcore, 25 miles north of Bologna.

Workers pulled bodies from the wreckage and lay them in body bags in a misty field. Eight bodies had been removed, said police in the nearby town of San Giovanni in Persiceto, who were overseeing the efforts.

Rescue officials in Rome said 14 people were killed and 80 injured, several of them seriously.

The cause of the crash was not clear, but officials said there was thick fog at the time of the collision. The Transport Ministry said it was opening an investigation.

Ambulances rushed to the site, and a helicopter was sent from Rome, the ANSA news agency said.

Several seriously injured people were taken to a hospital in Bologna, and about 50 people were being treated on–site for minor injuries, the report said.

The Civil Defense department said around 100 people were on board the passenger train, which was a local train traveling south from Verona to Bologna. The freighter was headed north from Rome to San Zeno Falzano.

Though most train accidents in Italy are minor, the country has occasionally seen deadly train crashes. The most recent was in July 2002, when a train from Palermo to Messina derailed in northeastern Sicily, killing at least eight people.

Europe's most recent deadly train crash was in November in Britain. Seven people were killed when a train struck a car on a level crossing west of London.

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