The incident occurred in Casalpusterlengo, a municipality in the Province of Lodi in Lombardy, Italy, which is located about 50 kilometers southeast of Milan. The train detached from the rails, hit a freight wagon and violently crashed into a building.
Unfortunately, 2 railway workers (probably conductors) died and 27 more people were injured. "Let light be quickly shed on this grave accident, in order to guarantee the right of citizens to transport safety," Sergio Mattarella, the Italian President, wrote on Tweeter after offering his condolences to the families of the victims.
The failure occurred at about 5:30 am local time on February 5, 2020, as the train was on a scheduled trip from Milano to Salerno. According to Angelo Borrelli, Italy's Civil Protection chief, the train was traveling at a speed of 300 km/h when two of its cars derailed. “The engine car derailed, detached completely and kept going. Then the second car derailed," Girolamo Fabiano, a railroad police official, stated.
Fortunately, the train was not full of people due to the time of the route. In total, there were 30 passengers and just one in the first car that overturned along with the engine. Rescue teams rushed at the scene and pulled out of the train the injured travelers. Many of them were hospitalized without being in a life-threatening condition.
Italian media reported that the track was properly maintained a night before the incident.
According to Mark Lowen, BBC News Southern Europe Correspondent, it is the first time a derailment of a Frecciarossa high-speed train occurs in Italy. Nevertheless, some crashes on regional trains have been reported before.
The rail routes were suspended and diverted to regional tracks after a delay that lasted for one hour.
The causes of the derailment have not been clarified yet and an investigation is currently conducted by the Italian Police. “It’s a tragedy we need to shed some light on,” Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy, said.