A prosecutor has begun investigating a train collision at a station south of Rome that injured about 70 people, some critically, news reports said Wednesday. A train, headed from Rome to Campobasso, slammed into another train traveling from Rome to Cassino that had stopped at the station in Roccasecca, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital on Tuesday.
The news agency ANSA reported that a prosecutor in Cassino began questioning the two drivers of the Rome to Campobasso train who claimed the track appeared free and there was no stop sign. Witnesses said they saw one passenger car slip on top of another.
"There was a loud impact, and this train climbed over the other train," said Paola Molle, a 19-year-old student from Roccasecca who was parking her car about 30 meters (yards) away at the time of the accident.
"The people in the top car stuck their heads out the window and were looking down," Molle said in a telephone interview. "They looked calm to me. Then people started getting out of the train and lying down on the ground."
Trenitalia spokesman Luigi Irdi said Wednesday that about 70 people were injured in the crash, at least three of them critically. The most seriously hurt was an 8-year-old girl who was flown to San Camillo hospital in Rome with life-threatening injuries. She had been traveling with her parents and brother, who were also taken to the hospital.
The Swedish Consulate was notified because a group of Swedish students were on the train, although none appeared to have been injured. It was the second train crash in Europe in two days. On Monday, a commuter train collided with an oncoming passenger train in southern Poland, injuring at least seven people.
Though most train accidents in Italy are minor, the country has occasionally seen deadly crashes. The most recent was in January, when a passenger train and a freight train collided head-on in northern Italy, killing 17 people, reports the AP. I.L.