20 killed in head-on train collision in southern Italy

A head-on train collision in Italy on Tuesday has killed at least 20 people, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted a leading politician in the southern province as saying.

ANSA reported that 34 people were injured.

Giuseppe Corrado, vice president of Bari-Andria-Barletta, appealed for blood donors to come forward as emergency services treat dozens of injured.

Corrado said four people were in a critical condition.

Among the casualties was a toddler who was pulled from the wreckage alive, ANSA reported.

The two trains crashed on a single track between Corato and Andria, north of the port city of Bari.

Broadcast footage showed the front carriages of both trains completely destroyed by the collision.

Italian media reported that many passengers were still trapped in the wreckage at the crash site, which is proving difficult for rescuers to access.

The trains, both operated by private railway company Ferrotramviaria, are thought to have been carrying four carriages each.

Unconfirmed reports said many of the passengers were students and commuters.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called for a prompt investigation into the cause of the crash and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

It remains unclear whether the crash was a result of human error. There was good weather in the region at the time of the crash at 11:30 am (0930 GMT).

Last update: Tue, 12/07/2016 - 17:16
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