Five workers died overnight from Wednesday to Thursday after being hit by a train while carrying out work near Turin, Italy. The accident, which could be due to a communication error, arouses strong reactions.
A drama that arouses indignation and questions. A train hit a team of workers working on a railway line near Brandizzo, in northern Italy, during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. The train, which carried empty wagons on the Milan-Turin line, was moving at a speed of 160 km/h.
“Five workers were killed by a train, two others injured,” the fire department said in a brief statement.
The five workers operated for an external subcontractor, said the RFI company, responsible for managing the Italian rail network. She expressed her “deep sadness” and sent “condolences to the families of the deceased employees”, according to a press release.
The bodies of the workers, aged between 22 and 52 or 53, were reportedly dragged several hundred meters, according to AGI, an Italian news agency. According to Italian media, the two survivors, including the team leader, are in a state of shock but physically unharmed, as is the train driver.
“A communication error”
The mayor of Brandizzo, Paolo Bodoni, told the AGI agency that a rescuer had described to him a “frightening scene, with human remains over 300 meters”. “It’s a huge tragedy,” he added. According to him, “we cannot exclude that there was a communication error”.
Following this accident, several judicial and administrative inquiries were opened.
For her part, the head of the Italian government Giorgia Meloni presented her “deep condolences” to the families and loved ones of the victims and said she was following the investigation closely “in the hope of shedding light on what happened as quickly as possible”.
His Deputy Prime Minister in charge of transport, Matteo Salvini, deplored “a terrible tragedy”. “The rules are that work on the tracks can begin when it is certain that there are no trains running on the line,” he wrote on Facebook.
Unions denounce “shameful” accident
Luigi Sbarra, the head of the CISL union, said he was “stunned”. “Five workers died, five families destroyed due to failure to comply with safety measures.” His counterpart from the Uiltrasporti transport union, Claudio Tarlazzi, denounced an accident that was “shameful, unworthy of a civilized country”, recalling that his organization had already been alarmed by the security conditions within the RFI management.
National Secretary of the Democratic Party (left, opposition), Elly Schlein, called for an urgent plan for workplace safety.
“We cannot be a country where people continue to die in the workplace,” she said.
Two railway workers were killed and 31 passengers injured in February 2020 in the derailment of a train near Lodi, south of Milan. In January 2018, another derailment near Milan killed three people and injured 100, blamed on a lack of track maintenance.
Source: BFM TV