Two trains in Italy collided head on this morning, leaving at last count 20 dead and dozens injured.
The trains were traveling on the same stretch of track, in between Italy’s coastal towns of Bari and Barletta, in the Puglia region.
BBC reports on the rescue operation:
‘The emergency services have been trying to free passengers from the shattered carriages, near the town of Andria. One of those pulled from the wreckage was a small child, who was airlifted to hospital. The local authorities have appealed for blood donors to come forward.’
BBC also reported one policeman’s personal view of the rescue operation:
‘I saw dead people, others who were begging for help, people crying. The worst scene of my life.’
Local mayor Massimo Mazzilli compared the crash scene to a plane wreck in terms of the spread of destruction. Initial reports put the death toll at 10.
Watch footage of the crash site below, via Russia Today on Twitter.
— RT (@RT_com) July 12, 2016
There are no available reports describing the cause of the crash as of early Tuesday afternoon. BBC notes that there was no foul weather at the time of the collision.
Intentional foul play has not been ruled out, but neither has gross negligence on the part of the train operators. Similarly tragic circumstances elsewhere, such as in the United States, have turned up reports of tragically distracted train operators.
As for some kind of foul play, keep in mind that in the American case that eventually exposed the distracted engineer, foul play was at first suspected and widely reported. Foul play reports were birthed out of a curious image of the windshield of the wrecked train that seemed to show the impact point of a hurled stone.
The rescue operation in Italy is still ongoing, as the investigation into the cause of the wreck will remain for the indefinite future.
Featured below is a bird eye view of the crash site, via NBC News on Twitter.
Featured Image is via al- Jazeera News on Twitter.