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Italy's rail head probed in train disaster
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Eight authorities and agencies are also under investigation in the June 29, 2009, accident on the Italian coast, the country's worst rail disaster in years, the sources told Italy's ANSA news agency.

The 14-car train carrying liquefied petroleum gas derailed and exploded in Viareggio in northern Tuscany around midnight that day, engulfing a neighborhood in flames.

The flames ravaged entire streets, and five buildings collapsed, killing some residents as they slept.

"It was an apocalypse," a survivor told RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana, at the time. "All we could smell was gas and things burning, and all we could see was flames."

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the city on the coast of the Ligurian Sea and about 100 were left homeless.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared parts of the city a national disaster area.

Investigators believe the train exploded after an axle on the first car broke and the train ran off the tracks, officials said.

Among those investigated by prosecutors is Mauro Moretti, 57, chief executive officer of the Ferrovie dello Stato state railways company, ANSA said.

Prosecutors are pursuing a range of possible charges, including manslaughter and failure to protect the public, the agency said, citing judicial sources.

Prosecutors and the railway had no immediate comment.

Local officials accused the railway of having poor infrastructure and questioned why dangerous materials were being shipped through residential areas.

【 2011/6/6 7:47:02】 【 Print 】 【 Close window
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