‘It was a human error’: shock in Italy over the deaths of five workers struck by a train

In the early hours of Wednesday through Thursday, five workers died after being hit by a train near Turin in northern Italy. Several strikes have been called while the circumstances of the tragedy are being investigated “tougher penalties” for accidents at work. “It was a human error”assured meanwhile the Italian Transport Minister Matteo Salvini.

The deceased was between 22 and 52 years old. They were in charge of nightly maintenance work on the tracks when they were hit by a train traveling between Milan and Turin near Brandizo station, local media reported. The convoy was traveling at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour and had no passengers. The impact was so violent that it dragged the bodies several hundred yards. They were not the only victims as two other workers were in the area and managed to avoid the train collision and escape unharmed, despite receiving psychological care at Chivasso Hospital.

“Night deaths on the road will not be allowed in 2023. The prosecutor is investigating. The standard already stipulates that work on the railway tracks is not possible without a traffic interruption being certified. “Obviously it’s up to the prosecutors to find out what they did there, although it certainly appears to be human error,” Salvini said. Meanwhile, the driver and four other people accompanying him were not injured, although they were “in a state of… shock.”

The Chivasso Railway Police and Carabineros (Military Police) are on the scene, coordinated by the Ivrea Public Prosecutor’s Office, while the Salvini-led Transport Ministry has also announced that it will launch an investigation. The accident caused a great shock in the country. Italian President Sergio Mattarella expressed his “pain” because “dying at work is an outrage against the values ​​of coexistence”.

Likewise, the country’s main unions have called a four-hour strike by rail workers tomorrow, while union USB has already called a nationwide 24-hour strike from 15:30 (13:30 GMT) today, demanding that “those who endanger workers’ lives, pay heavy fines for their crimes”.

“The very serious train accident” is “another episode in a story already written about contracts, privatizations, non-compliance with safety regulations, increased work rates and downsizing.” The result is workplace killings, today five bodies were dismembered by a train that passed at 160km/h and stopped a kilometer after colliding with the workers,” the union said.

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