Rail Accident kills Children in Italy

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Pintu, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    BBC NEWS | Europe | Italian train crash children die

    Italian train crash children die

    Two children badly burned when a train exploded as it passed through an Italian town have died of their injuries, taking the death toll to 16.

    The three-year-old girl and the two-year-old boy had both suffered burns on 90% of their bodies, officials said.

    At least a dozen other people remain in a critical state, according to reports.

    The accident happened in the northern town of Viareggio on Monday night, when a train carrying gas tanks jumped the tracks and exploded near houses.

    Investigators want to know whether a broken axle may have been responsible.

    Berlusconi booed

    The blast caused two buildings - described as houses or small blocks of flats - to collapse while others were set on fire.

    The accident happened shortly before midnight, when most people would have been at home.

    Elia Quiroz, who lives near the town's railway station, said he was about to go to bed on Monday night when his kitchen table started shaking.

    "Then I heard an explosion and I went outside. I saw flames as high as 30, 40 metres, and I ran," he told the Associated Press.

    Fire crews have been working to clear the scene, while residents are still being kept away from their homes amid fears other gas tanks might be at risk of exploding.

    By Wednesday morning six of the 13 remaining wagons of the freight train had been made safe, fires services said.

    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi travelled to the town on Tuesday to witness the emergency operation, but was greeted by a jeering crowd.

    The region is left-leaning and it was unclear whether the boos were politically motivated, had any relation to recent scandals involving the prime minister, or were a reaction to the accident, correspondents say.

    Local people have demanded to know why gas was being transported so close to people's houses.

    The cause of the accident is unclear, though one of the main theories being investigated is that an axle on one of the gas wagons broke, causing it to derail.

    Railway unions blamed old and obsolete rolling stock.

    But the company that owned the wagon, a subsidiary of US-based GATX Corp, said the unit was new, and that so far there was no evidence of "any connection between the cause of the accident and our wagons".

    Earlier police said the incident may have been caused by damage to the tracks or a problem with the train's braking system.
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    I pray almighty to rest the soul of the victims in peace, and my heart bleeds when I saw the death of two children barely two toddler in this fire, in the list of casualty which reads 16, human mistake destroyed two lives as innocent as flower. I pray almighty to give mental strength to the family of the victims.

    Rest In Peace.
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    AFP: Fifteen dead as gas rail tankers derail in Italy

    Fifteen dead as gas rail tankers derail in Italy

    1 day ago

    VIAREGGIO, Italy (AFP) — At least 15 people were killed and dozens more injured in northern Italy when two gas-filled rail tankers exploded after derailing, engulfing nearby homes in flames, firefighters said on Tuesday.

    The blast in the seaside resort of Viareggio also seriously injured 34 people, about half of whom were said to be in critical condition.

    Many victims had suffered extensive burns, said the firefighters' coordination centre in Rome.

    Two more people died later on Tuesday, raising an initial toll of 13 to 15.

    Hundreds of firefighters from across the region were rushed to the area to help with the rescue operation and ensure the remaining tankers did not catch fire.

    A thousand people have been evacuated from the area because of the danger of more explosions, said Luca Lunardini, mayor of the city of 50,000 people.

    The region has declared a state of emergency and Transport Minister Altero Matteoli is to set up a committee to investigate the incident.

    The explosion happened just before midnight on Monday when a wagon in a 14-carriage train transporting liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) came off the rails in the coastal town, which is just northwest of Pisa.

    Witnesses, including Lunardini, reported hearing three explosions: a violent initial blast and two others just afterwards.

    "The cars flipped over on their sides on the rails and the gas spread out among the nearest houses before exploding," said senior firefighter Antonio Gambardella.

    Dozens of small homes along the railway line were caught in the blast. Two small residential buildings were completely engulfed in the flames and destroyed, witnesses said.

    Around 18 people were believed to live in one of the buildings.

    Some were known to have survived, Gambardella told AFP, "but we fear there could be several more people under the rubble." Four people have been reported missing.

    He said an eight-year-old boy had been pulled out alive in the early hours of Tuesday.

    Another two children were among the wounded, said Aronica, the local prefect.

    The dead and injured were either passers-by or people who lived in the two buildings destroyed in the blast, but most of them still had to be identified.

    At least four other buildings were damaged in the explosion.

    "I heard the explosion and I went out into the street to find myself faced with flames and a motionless charred body lying on the ground," a witness told the Italian news agency ANSA.

    "It was a terrifying scene which I will never forget," added the witness, who works at a nearby pharmaceutical company. "We couldn't do anything for the body except cover it up."

    Another witness told how one young girl caught in the blast as she rode past on her scooter threw herself to the ground to put out her burning clothes, ANSA reported.

    And one of the train drivers told of their escape. "The driver's cabin was filled with the gas, we managed to escape. We are alive, it is a miracle."

    Investigators were looking into the possibility that the blast happened because the axle on one of the wagons broke, derailing the container and its volatile cargo, said ANSA.

    Two other wagons were still lying on their side at the crash site on Tuesday, with another two still upright, but off the rails.

    "One of the tasks of the firefighters and notably the specialised chemical accident units is to try to make sure the rest of the tankers don't catch fire and explode," he added.

    More than 300 firefighters from neighbouring regions were at the scene, he added.

    Giuseppe Romano, the fire chief for the city of Florence, stressed that work of this kind was very difficult because LPG is very fluid.

    The train, which started from the port of La Spezia, was going to Pisa.

    Monday's accident was the most serious in Italy since a cargo train and a passenger service collided on January 7, 2005, killing 17 people and injuring another 60 near the central city of Bologna.

    Liquefied petroleum gas is a mixture of propane and butane that is used for cooking or as fuel for specially adapted cars.
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    With my heart bleeding for the victims and with full sympathy for the families of the deceased with my prayer for the peace of victim's souls , I am also in view that there are the some questions which are needed to be answered :

    1. Why highly explosive material like Liquefied Petroleum was being transported through densely housed area, were not the other sufficient route available ? Who will take the responsibility of death of the toddlers? Though I personally believe owing moral responsibility to their deaths by the authority is not the answer of happening of the disasters.

    2. Why the area just beside the railway lines are so densely populated, in case of any more worse disaster , every thing will became a flame house , and also a cautious note , many homes immediately engulfed with fire.

    Regards
     
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Italy: Inquiries begin as train crash death toll rises - Adnkronos Security

    Security

    [​IMG]
    Italy: Inquiries begin as train crash death toll rises

    Viareggio, 1 July (AKI) - Three separate inquiries have begun into the Italian freight train disaster that killed at least 17 people and injured 30 others in the northern Italian coastal town of Viareggio on Monday. In what is being described as one of Italy's worst train disasters, the death toll continued to rise on Wednesday.

    Among the victims were two young children - a two-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl - who died early on Wednesday after suffering burns to over 90 percent of their bodies.

    An unidentified man also died of his injuries in a hospital in the Tuscan town of Versilia, but there were fears that the death toll would rise as many of the victims suffered serious burns after a train jumped the tracks and burst into flames in the seaside town.

    Transport minister Altero Matteoli said on Wednesday 27 people, "many of them in a very serious condition," were still being treated for their injuries.

    Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi declared a "state of emergency" in Viareggio after visiting the scene of the disaster late Tuesday.

    The carriage of the freight train which was transporting liquefied petroleum gas exploded just before midnight on Monday night.

    Several carriages left the tracks and crashed into nearby homes, setting off an inferno in the seaside town in the middle of the night.

    Around 1,000 people were evacuated from the area and spent Tuesday night in tents at a local school, although 900 were expected to return home by Friday.

    Firefighters were still clearing debris from the scene and were expected to remove seven highly inflammable gas cylinders left beside the tracks.

    Meanwhile, Italian magistrates in the Tuscan city of Lucca, the transport ministry and Italy's national train company Trenitalia have all begun investigations into the disaster.

    Initial investigations suggest the accident occurred when a broken wheel axle on the first of the train's 14 tanker wagons caused it to veered off the rails, dragging four other wagons with it, officials said.

    The freight train's cargo of liquid petroleum gas poured out of at least one of wagons after it was apparently punctured as it fell onto a signpost next to the tracks and ignited, triggering a blast which destroyed residential buildings near Viareggio's railway station

    The train driver, Roberto Fochesato,47, and his colleague, Andrea D'Alessandro, 36, both survived the accident unharmed.

    They told Italian media that the train was travelling at 90 km per hour - below the maximum speed if 100 km per hour and denied any wrongdoing.

    They managed to rescue the train and its freight documents after it derailed.

    Trenitalia's managing director Mauro Moretti, who visited the scene shortly after the accident, also confirmed the train was travelling at 90 km per hour but said he and his colleagues had noticed signs that the first wagon's axle was worn out.

    He denied human error was the cause of the crash.

    Trenitalia rented the freight train from the European subsidiary of US giant Gatx.

    It was being used to tranport the liquified petroleum gas from a refinery at Trecate near the northern city of Novara.

    Moretti claimed that the maintenance of the train was Gatx's responsibility.

    Gatx has confirmed that but denied that it is at fault.

    It said that the tanker wagons it rents are all new and were built between 2003 and 2006.

    Gatx's European subsidiary said it had certified and authorised companies to carry out cross-checks needed for train maintenance.

    Italian unions are threatening to call strikes over the issue of freight train safety.

    They have criticised current regulations that allow companies to certify the safety of the trains.

    Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni has promised that current legislation on the transport of dangerous materials will be revised if it is found to be inadequate.

    Italy's national consumer's union on Wednesday called on the government to carry out urgent checks on safety at train stations and on railways tracks across Italy.
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Some more images of the Disaster :

    Image Courtesy AFP , available at : AFP: Italian train inferno kills 16

    [​IMG]
    The deadly accident occurred just before midnight

    [​IMG]
    Around a thousand people had to be evacuated from the nearby houses
     

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