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Five rail workers killed in Italy after being hit by train going at 160 km/h

An employee looks on at the Milan Central train station as Italy's rail workers are on strike in Milan, on July 13, 2023.
An employee looks on at the Milan Central train station as Italy's rail workers are on strike in Milan, on July 13, 2023. Copyright AFP/GABRIEL BOUYS
Copyright AFP/GABRIEL BOUYS
By Euronews, AFP
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The five were hit while doing scheduled maintenance work on the rail way. Authorities have now opened an investigation into the deadly incident.

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Five rail workers were killed in northern Italy after being hit by a late-night train running at a speed of 160 km/h in a tragic incident that appears to be due to miscommunication.

The victims were among a group of seven who were working on the rail near the station of Brandizzo, not too far from Turin, during night-time. According to Italian media, they were replacing parts of the railway when, just before midnight, they were hit by a speeding train.

Two of the workers survived the incident without injuries but were brought to the hospital for further checks. All workers were employed by an external company called Si.gi.fer, from the town of Borgo Vercelli.

During similar maintenance operations, which happen regularly, no train is allowed to run on the railway which is being worked on or the one around it.  

Authorities have opened an investigation into the incident, while trains have been suspended between Turin and Milan and Settimo Torinese and Chivasso. The case is being considered as murder.

The five victims have been identified as Michael Zanera, 34; Giuseppe Sorvillo, 43; Saverio Giuseppe Lombardo, 52; Giuseppe Aversa, 49; and Kevin Laganà, 22. Reports said they all died immediately after the impact with the train.

The tragic incident has sparked criticism from the leaders of CGIL, Italy's largest trade union federation and the second biggest in Europe, which called it "inconceivable."

The governor of the region of Piedmont, where the incident took place, expressed his condolences to the victim and called the incident "unacceptable."

"You can't lose your life when you're at work," said Alberto Cirio. "We can't accept this."

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