Paris-Rome train crash signal error speculation
ROME, March 21 (AFP) - The weekend collision of two night trains on the Rome-Milan-Paris route may have been caused by a signalling error, Italian media reported on Sunday.
One person died and 37 were injured overnight Saturday when the last coach of the Rome-Paris express derailed near Lake Maggiore, in Italy’s northern Lake District, and struck an oncoming train on the adjacent track.
Local newspaper La Prealpina reported on Sunday that the employee in charge of signalling in the area had been called in for questioning. He is believed to have operated the switching system at nearby Stresa station too soon, causing the last car to derail, the report said.
According to union sources, quoted by the ANSA news agency, the employee had worked for 17 of the 20 days preceding the accident, including six night shifts.
The deputy prosecutor of nearby Verbania, Fabrizio Argentieri, said on Saturday that it was highly unlikely a signalling error had caused the derailment.
However, an official from Italy’s train police in northern Milan told ANSA that the inquiry was focusing on the signalling manoeuvres made in Stresa the night of the accident.Eight people remained hospitalised on Sunday, although their condition had greatly improved, according to hospital sources.
The one victim has been identified as Jeannine Massoni, an 82-year-old French widow who had been returning from a religious pilgrimage in San Damiano, northern Italy.
Subject: France news