1 Jul 2009

More train crash explosions feared

4:55 pm on 1 July 2009

Firefighters are working to prevent further explosions after a freight train carrying tanks of liquefied gas exploded in northern Italy.

ANSA news agency reported on Tuesday the death toll has been revised down to 13.

The explosion occurred just before midnight on Monday in the coastal town of Viareggio, about 350 km north of Rome. More than 30 people were seriously injured.

The accident happened when an axle on one car of the 14-car train buckled and caused the derailment. The wagons jumped the tracks and crashed into several houses, setting off an inferno in the middle of the night.

Officials have warned there is a risk that other gas tanks could explode. The fire is still smouldering.

It is Italy's most deadly rail accident since 17 people were killed in January 2005, when a passenger train collided with a freight train near the northern city of Bologna.