A female voice warned passengers not to give money to beggars, while telling ‘gypsies’ to ‘get off at the next stop because you break balls’.
Passengers reported the incident on social media as well as to Trenord, which said that there is a possibility that the Tannoy device, which is not situated in the train’s cabin, could have been tampered with and accessed by a fellow passenger.
Still, the company said in a statement that the incident was “serious and deplorable”.
“We have immediately launched an internal investigation and will take necessary measures. We thank customers for promptly reporting the incident,” the statement added.
The incident comes amid a rise in the number of attacks against immigrants and Roma people, which some believe have been inflamed by Italy's new populist government.
A few weeks after taking power in June, Matteo Salvini, interior minister, deputy prime minister and leader of the far-right League, sparked outrage after calling for a census of the Roma community.