While most attention on Italy these days is focused on the slow-motion crash involving its banks, overnight a real - and tragic - train crash took place in Europe's third largest economy. The crash involved two passanger trains belonging to the North Bari line which collided head on resulting in the death of 11 people and injuring dozens according to Italian site Ansa.
An aerial image showed carriages smashed and crumpled by the force of the impact, with debris flung out amongst olive trees which flanked both sides of the track.The stretch of track is operated by a regional rail company Ferrotramviaria. It was not clear how many people had been on the trains.
"We are working with dozens of rescue teams to open up the carriages," said Luca Cari, a fire service spokesman, adding they had saved a young boy from the wreckage. "The rescue is complicated because this happened in the middle of the countryside," he said.
Victims were taken Andria and Barletta hospitals, some in serious condition. As Ansa reports (translated by Google):
Dramatic train accident in Puglia: 11 killed in a head-on collision between two trains of the North Bari line , on the single-track railway line between Ruvo and Corato . The budget could become worse: there are many people still trapped between the sheets. Are currently 18 injured, in the hospitals of Andria and Barletta. Ten are in serious condition.
There was no immediate reason given for the collision, which took place at around 11.30 am (0930 GMT) on a hot summer's day in the region of Puglia. However, it would appear that a dramatic failure to communicate must have played a role considering the two trains were traveling in opposing directions on the same single track. The crash happened on a single stretch of track in countryside between the towns of Corato and Andria. Both trains were made up of four carriages.
As would be expected, the Prime Minister has said he will not stop investigating the accident until a clear explaination is available. The images from the scene are dramatic, with mangled steel, downed tress, and power wires surrounding the peaceful Italian countryside scene.
The last major rail disaster in Italy was in 2009 when a freight train derailed in Viareggio, in the center of the country, with more than 30 people living close to the tracks killed in the subsequent fire.
Photo's from social media and Mirror.uk: