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Deadly Commuter Crash: Italian Trains Collide Head-On

Two commuter trains crashed in southeastern Italy on Tuesday morning.

Two Italian commuter trains collided head-on Tuesday in the southern region of Puglia, killing at least 20 people and injuring scores more, officials said. At least two passengers were pulled alive from the crumpled wreckage as the rescue operation ground on in the scorching heat.

Above: The crash site where two trains collided on a single-track stretch between Ruvo di Puglia and Corato, Italy on July 12, 2016.

Italian Fire Brigade

The two trains, each with four cars, collided head-on in an olive grove on flat terrain between the towns of Andria and Corato on a line with just a single track. The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. some 30 miles northwest of the Puglia regional capital, Bari.

Lucas Turi / AP

Giuseppe Corrado, vice president of the province of Andria, told reporters at the scene that the death toll stood at 20 and that the local hospital needed blood.

Gaetano Lo Porto / AP

The two trains, each with four cars, collided head-on in an olive grove on flat terrain between the towns of Andria and Corato on a line with just a single track. The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. some 30 miles northwest of the Puglia regional capital, Bari.

Gaetano Lo Porto / AFP-Getty Images

A giant crane arrived at the scene to remove the mangled debris.

Reuters

Italian State Secretary to the Prime Minister Graziano Delrio, center, arrives at the site.

Reuters

The cars clearly slammed into one another: They rested crumpled together like an accordion, off the tracks at sharp angles. News reports said rescue workers pulled a small child alive from the rubble.

Italian Fire Brigade

Riccardo Zingaro, the chief of the local police in Andria, told Sky it was "a great tragedy." Some rescue workers seemed overwhelmed by the scene and the heat.

"The impact was significant, and we are now verifying the consequences," said Giovanni De Siervo of Italy's civil protection service.

Italian Fire Brigade

The trains were operated by a private, Bari-based rail company, Ferrotramviaria, that connects the city of Bari with Puglia towns to the north and the airport.

In a phone interview with state TV, Ferrotramviaria director general Massimo Nitti said the dynamics of what went wrong are still to be determined, but it is clear "one of the trains wasn't supposed to be there" at the same time as the other.

Reuters