Three women died and dozens of other passengers were injured, many seriously, when a regional train derailed early Thursday morning near Milan.
It was almost 7:00 am and the train left 1:30 earlier from Cremona was crowded – 350 passengers according to media – when the drama took place near Segrate, one of the last stops before the center of the great metropolis of northern Italy.
Dozens of firefighters, police and rescue workers were mobilized to take care of the victims, some of whom remained several hours locked in the carcass of a car that folded in two after striking a pylon.
In total, the relief has raised three deaths – three women aged 39, 51 and 61 years according to Italian media – a dozen serious injuries and more than 90 minor injuries. Almost all are people who go to work or students.
In a telegram of condolences, Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and assured his prayers for the victims.
Passengers told the media that the train began to shake heavily, as if it were passing over rocks. Then there was a very brutal brake and the train derailed.
According to a manager of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the manager of the network, the accident could be due to a rail break on 23 cm a little more than one kilometer upstream.
The passage of the first cars moved the rail and derailed two cars in the middle of the train, which then drove at about 100 km / h and stopped abruptly a little before entering the Pioltello station.
“We are in the process of checking the dynamics, the structure of the rails … Everything must be controlled piece by piece,” Milan police chief Marcello Cardona told the press, saying the report was “a miracle”. given the state of the train.
The Milan prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for an unintentional train accident and the investigators questioned the train driver, who was not injured.
“Jump by a window”
A woman who came to the scene told the daily La Repubblica that her daughter had called her at the time of the accident: “Mom, help, the train is derailing”.
“People were terrified, they shouted” My god, my god, my god “. I managed to jump out a window when the car went to bed, “said John Eugaosa, a 25-year-old Nigerian who was traveling to Milan to look for work.
The pants stained with the blood of other passengers, he was waiting to see a doctor in one of the two gymnasiums designed to take care of the lighter victims, both medically and psychologically.
The most serious casualties, pulled one by one from the carcass of the cars, were transported by helicopter to hospitals in the area.
Images broadcast by the firefighters showed a passenger stuck in his seat, stuck by the sheet of the roof and the wall of the car deformed by shock.
This train belongs to the regional Lombard company Trenord, owned equally by the public group Trenitalia and Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM), a railway company that operates mainly in the north of the peninsula.
The head of the Italian government, Paolo Gentiloni, promised that light would be made on the circumstances of the tragedy.
“Dying on the way to work is unacceptable,” said Infrastructure Minister Graziano Delrio. “We demand the truth,” he insisted, while ensuring that the Italian rail network was “one of the safest in the world”.