At least 20 dead in Italy train crash

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Two passenger trains are seen after a collision in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari, Italy, in this handout pictures released by Italian Firefighters July 12, 2016. Italian Firefighters/ Reuters
The death toll from a train crash in southern Italy has risen to 20, a regional official told reporters on Tuesday, adding that dozens of people were in hospital, some with serious injuries.
The previous toll was put at 11.
The head-on collision between two trains happened on a single stretch of track in countryside between the towns of Corato and Andria, in the southern heel of Italy.
Funeral wagons bearing coffins arrived at the scene to carry away the first of the dead.
The impact happened on a bend in the track in open countryside and flung the front carriages of both trains into olive groves bordering the line, slinging bits of metal from the wreckage.
"It\’s an apocalyptic scene, it was hard not to vomit on first sight," said local journalist Lucia Olivieri who works for Andria Live.it, adding that rescue workers feared people may still be trapped.
She said local hospitals had issued a request on social networks for blood donors to come forward to help the injured.
Paramedics set up an impromptu medical centre among the olive trees, with three helicopters airlifting out the most seriously hurt victims, including one young boy.
Many of the passengers on one of the trains had been students heading to lessons at the University of Bari.
Relatives of some had arrived at the scene looking for news of their loved ones.
Riccardo Zingaro, head of traffic police in Andria, said the yellow and blue carriages were "utterly crumpled" by the impact.
Investigators said at least one of the trains had been travelling very fast, and it was possible the collision was caused by human error.
One of the four-carriage trains was supposed to have waited at a station for a green light before heading down the single track between the towns of Corato and Andria.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi interrupted a speech in Milan to say the country would "not stop until we know what happened".
"This is a moment for tears in which we need to work to recover the victims and wounded," he added.
Renzi said he was returning immediately to Rome following the collision.
Italy\’s transport minister Graziano Delrio was on his way to the scene along with two ministry inspectors to aid the investigation.
The last big train crash in Italy left 38 people dead in 2013 near Naples.
SOURCE: REUTERS

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