LODI, Italy | A high-speed train linking Milan to Salerno derailed early Thursday morning near Lodi, not far from Milan, resulting in the death of two drivers and thirty wounded, none of them in serious condition, have announced the fire brigade and the warden.
The accident happened shortly after 5: 30 p.m. (local time), while it was still night, in the midst of the campaign to the tune of Lodi, about 50 km south of Milan, the economic capital of Italy, and the two deceased persons are two machinists of the high-speed train Freccia Rossa, said the prefect of Lodi, Marcello Cardona, who came on the spot.
Two helicopters, hundreds of firefighters, policemen, members of the civil protection and dozens of ambulances have been mobilised to rescue the victims.
The train was carrying about thirty people, including members of the personnel board.
The final assessment of the accident, reported in the morning by the Lombardy region, two dead –two machinists, between the ages of 51 and 59 years old– and 31 wounded, including four seriously, but their days are not in danger.
According to initial findings, it appears that the driving of the train out of the rails and either go to hit a carriage or a bogie (carriage located under a railway vehicle) on a parallel path before you go crashing in to a building rail located several tens of meters from there.
The public prosecutor of Lodi has opened an investigation into the disaster, homicide, and unintentional injuries.
The television pictures show the motor ripped open near the building, detached from the convoy, and the first of the ten cars making up the train lying on the rails, the rest of the convoy is still intact.
Witnesses, cited by the nonstop news channel Rainews 24, are said to have been “tossed around for 60 seconds like on a roller coaster”.
“I thought of dying, I can’t describe what happened, and I did not realize not always, the train was going very fast. Suddenly, I heard a violent blow. A roar is very strong,” said a young survivor of 21 years of age, hospitalized in Piacenza.
“We are very sorry for the two victims, both railwaymen, and we express our solidarity with their families. We cannot yet conclude anything” about the causes of the accident, stated to journalists the head of the government, Giuseppe Conte.
The prefect of Lodi explained that “the first investigations have started to understand where is the point zero” of the derailment, stating that”there is nothing we can say yet” about the reasons of the accident.
He has ruled out any controversy on an arrival possibly delayed rescuers: “rescue teams have arrived in the normal time considering the fact that we find ourselves in the midst of the campaign. The firefighters have done an extraordinary job”.
Asked about a possible problem due to response handling in the night, he replied that “the maintenance of the lines is done continuously and it is far too early to associate the accident with the handling” of the line.
“Everything must be evaluated, these are not questions that are to be settled in ten minutes or an hour,” he continued, explaining that the investigation would be “lengthy and thorough”.
The public company of railways Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) has indicated that the accident, “the causes of which have yet to be determined”, has resulted in a first-time interruption of the traffic on the stretch of high-speed Milan-Bologna, but then the traffic was diverted on the line Milano-Piacenza, sparking delays of up to 1h.
Shortly after the derailment of the train Frecciarossa (red arrow, in Italian), the security systems of high-speed triggered, blocking the other convoys in circulation and, in particular, a train that had left the capital of lombardy and ten minutes later and that was following the train accident has indicated FS.
Two years ago, on January 25, 2018, the derailment of a commuter train that had hit a power pole in Pioltello, near Milan, had been three deaths and dozens of wounded among the 350 passengers.