Death toll from Puglia train crash confirmed at 23

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The death toll from the crash in Puglia has been confirmed at 23. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco
16:42 CEST+02:00
The death toll following Tuesday’s train crash in Puglia has been confirmed as 23, the Governor of Italy’s Puglia region, Michele Emiliano, announced on Wednesday.

Earlier reports suggested that 23 people had died and a further four were missing following the incident, but Emiliano confirmed that all passengers had now been accounted for.

Rescue workers continued searching the twisted wreckage of the two trains throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the hope of finding more survivors.

Emiliano confirmed that fifty-two people had been wounded in the crash, 24 of whom are still in hospital.

Of the 24, eight are reportedly in a serious condition, including Samuele Desario, who lost his grandmother in the cash and turns seven today.

Local prosecutors have opened a culpable manslaughter investigation into the head-on collision, which happened on a single stretch of track between Andria and Corato.

It is presumed the collision was caused by human error, but the investigation's chief, state attorney Francesco Giannella, told the press his team would investigate all avenues to establish how the collision happened.

“We will look into all possibilities, not just human error,” Italian news agency Ansa reported him as saying.

So far, nobody has been placed under formal investigation, but Giannella hinted that this might change "in a few hours".

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At the centre of the probe is the Bari North line’s security system, which relied on an outdated system of telephone alerts to inform stationmasters of the positions of travelling trains.

Gianella promised the system would be updated following the crash.

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