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Freight train derails, kills 6 in Italy

Freight train derails, kills 6 in Italy

A freight train derailed in the middle of a small Italian town and two cars filled with liquefied natural gas exploded, setting off an inferno that killed at least six people and injured more than 30, officials said Tuesday.
The cars plowed into several homes just outside the train station in the Tuscan seaside town of Viareggio, and the resulting explosion collapsed a building and set fire to a vast area.
Five people were killed when their house collapsed, while a sixth victim was riding a scooter along the rail line when the train derailed, said Raffaele Gargiulo, a police spokesman in the nearby city of Lucca, which is in charge of the smaller town of Viareggio.
Gargiulo told The Associated Press by telephone that more than 30 people were injured, with most suffering severe burns.
Videos uploaded on YouTube showed a huge plume of fire and smoke towering above Viareggio's low buildings. Images from the scene showed an inferno raging in the night, consuming buildings and cars, while the sound of sirens and explosions pierced the air.
The train coming from the northern city of La Spezia and heading for Pisa derailed just before midnight Monday shortly after passing through Viareggio's train station, Gargiulo said.
The train's two engineers were only lightly injured and were questioned in the hospital, saying they felt an impact some 600 feet (180 meters) outside the station, shortly before the train flew off the tracks.
Gargiulo said the incident may have been caused by damage to the tracks or a problem with the train's braking system.
Firefighters chief Antonio Gambardella told Italy's RAI state TV that the blaze was being contained but there was still the risk that other train cars containing gas would explode.
Firefighters were battling flames while digging through the rubble of collapsed or burnt homes looking for casualties, Gambardella said, adding that there could be more victims.


Updated : 2021-04-11 22:16 GMT+08:00