Brandizzo train station entrance, where five workers were killed. hit by a train as they worked on the tracks

Rail disaster – death of 5 workers

By Region News North-west Italy

Five railway workers in northern Italy were killed on Wednesday night when they were hit by a train at Brandizzo while carrying out overnight maintenance work. Two survivors have been discharged from hospital.

Two survivors of Wednesday night’s rail disaster that killed five workers between Milan and Turin were discharged from hospital after being treated for shock on Thursday. The train drivers were also discharged.

President Sergio Mattarella  said, death at work is “an affront to the values of coexistence.

“I thank the mayor of Torre Pellice for inviting everyone present to a minute’s silence to mourn the death of the five workers tonight,” said Mattarella, speaking at an event in Torre Pellice in Piemonte.

“Thank you mayor for this initiative that reminds us how important it is to protect work and workplace safety,” he added.

Earlier Deputy Premier and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini said prosecutors and technical experts are looking into the circumstances of the incident.

“The rule is that work on the tracks can only commence once it has been certified that there are no trains on the line,” he added.

Expressing her condolences to the families of the five victims, Premier Giorgia Meloni called for full light to be shed on the incident.

“I have learned with sorrow and sadness of the tragic death of the five workers who were hit by a train while carrying out maintenance work at Brandizzo railway station in the Turin area,” wrote Meloni on social media.

“I send my deepest condolences and sincere feelings of closeness to the families of the victims and their loved ones,” she added.

How did the tragedy unfold?

Police said the train was travelling at 160km/h (99mph) when, shortly before midnight, it hit the team replacing parts of the track near Brandizzo, on the outskirts of Turin.

The train was transporting wagons on the Milan-Turin line and was not in commercial service.

Bodoni, the Brandizzo mayor, told Corriere della Sera: “The rescuers told me they witnessed a chilling scene, with human remains scattered over a distance of 300 metres. It is not to be excluded that there may have been a communication error between the team on site and those who were supposed to coordinate the work on the tracks. In any case, we will have to await the outcome of the investigations.”

Works should have started only all trains were clear from the lines, state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) said on Thursday.

“As far as the speed of the train is concerned, the conditions of the line allowed it to reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h in that section,” said FS in its online newspaper FS News. “The issue is different: according to procedures, the works should have started only after the train had passed,” it added.

The leader of CISL, Italy’s second largest trades union confederation, called the accident “an outrage to all Italian workers”. Luigi Sbarra said on social media: “It leaves us dismayed. Five workers are dead, five families – to whom we send our condolences – have been destroyed by the lack of safety measures.”

Train Line reopened

The Milan-Turin rail line reopened Thursday afternoon, 18 hours after the fatal accident. The Milan-Turin railway line on the Chivasso-Settimo Torinese section, was reopened following clearance from the judicial authorities.

Both tracks have been reopened and circulation is gradually resuming. The train involved in the accident has been moved but remains at the disposal of investigators.

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