What could have been a smooth train journey turned out disastrous as two speeding trains collided head on, killing 20 and leaving about a dozen seriously injured in Southern Italy on Tuesday.
According to reports, the accident took place when the trains were using a single-track line running between the coastal town of Bari and Barletta. It was unclear as to what could have led to the accident on a clear day; however, human error has not been ruled out.
Corato mayor Massimo Mazzilli said that the smashing carriages had created a mess as would a plane crash. Massive rescue operations are underway.
Prime minister Matteo Renzi cancelled his trip to Milian after hearing the news of the accident. He has called for a thorough investigation. The line managed by Ferrotramviaria is used by thousands on a daily basis.
Italy has witnessed some of the most deadly train accidents in recent past. In June 2009, a freight train carrying liquefied petroleum gas derailed in Viareggio, killing over 30 people. In January 2005, a head-on collision between a passenger and a freight train near Crevalcore, killed 17 and on July 2002, a passenger train derailed in Rometta Messina, killing 8. Incidently, all these accidents have taken place on months starting with ‘J.’