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Safety questions after Italian train crash

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Safety questions after Italian train crash

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After the shock of a train crash inferno in Italy, the focus is shifting to questions about security. Railway workers in Tuscany are today holding a one-hour strike to demand better safety conditions.

This after 16 people died and numerous others were seriously hurt in the derailment of a train carrying liquid petroleum gas in the northern town of Viareggio. Explosions after the accident incinerated nearby homes and vehicles. Union officials have said it appears the failure of an axle on one of the wagons caused the derailment. The company that owns the wagons says it is too early to say what caused the tragedy. The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was quickly on the scene, but he was greeted with jeering and insults by some of those gathered. A transport minister says rules on inspections of train wagons may need to be reviewed. At the moment checks are required every six or seven years, but he says the wagons are now used much more than in the past. The wagon that derailed was do have a revision in December. About a thousand people were evacuated from their homes after the accident and more than 30 people were taken to hospital with burns. More than a dozen of them are reported to be in a critical condition.