Paolo Ferrari  /  AP
Firefighters work on the wreckage near Bologna in northern Italy.
updated 1/7/2005 4:39:52 PM ET 2005-01-07T21:39:52

A passenger train and a freight train collided in thick fog Friday in northern Italy, killing 13 people and injuring dozens, rescue officials said.

The crash, on a line between Bologna and Verona, left several train cars in a wreck of buckled metal. At least one carriage was lifted high into the air by the force of the collision.

The crash happened at 12:50 p.m. in a rural area of Bolognina di Crevalcore, 25 miles north of Bologna.

Workers pulled bodies from the wreckage and laid them in body bags in a misty field. Eight bodies had been recovered, according to police in the nearby town of San Giovanni in Persiceto, who were overseeing the efforts. Rescue officials in Rome said 80 people were injured, several seriously.

The Civil Defense department said around 100 people were on board the passenger train, which was a local train traveling south from Verona to Bologna. The freighter was headed north from Rome to San Zeno Falzano.

The cause of the crash was not known, but officials said there was thick fog at the time of the collision. The Transport Ministry said it was opening an investigation.

A helicopter was sent from Rome, the ANSA news agency reported, while several ambulances rushed to the scene.

Several seriously injured people were taken to a hospital in Bologna, and about 50 people were being treated on-site for minor injuries, the report said.

Italy has few deadly train crashes, but a train from Palermo to Messina derailed in northeastern Sicily, killing at least eight people in July 2002.

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