The accident happened on a rail track in the middle of the countryside near the city of Bari in Italy. This was a single stretch of track between the towns of Corato and Andria in the southern heel of the country.
An aerial image showed train carriages smashed and crumpled by the force of the impact.
The head-on collision between two trains occurred between Ruvo and Corato, in the southern Italian region of Puglia. An aerial image showed train carriages smashed and crumpled by the force of the impact.
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi: “I want to find who is responsible”
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: “I want to express my condolences to the families and I have ordered (the authorities), with no holding back, to find out who is responsible for what happened.”
There pictures of crowds of volunteers lining up to donate blood offers a rare glimmer of hope during a horrendous day.
Beatrice Di Maio tweeted: “It is important is to ensure continuity of blood donations during any emergency. Thank you!”
“Where is my daughter?” – Mother begs for information
A mother begged hospital staff in Barletta for information about her daughter who was travelling on one of the trains, La Repubblica reported.
“Where’s my daughter? I went to the hospital in Corato, then to Andri,” she said.
“Tell me who is here. Tell me that she is fine.”
The day’s tragedy takes its toll on even the most hardened.
Some rescue workers seemed overwhelmed by the scene and the extremely warm weather conditions, it has been reported. A still photo of the crash showed cars crumpled together like an accordion and forced off the tracks at sharp angles.
Giovanni De Siervo, of Italy’s civil protection service, said: “The impact was significant, and we are now verifying the consequences.”
A field hospital was set upto treat the injured
A field hospital was set up to treat passengers injured in the crash, while that emergency services workers appeared to use what looked like container pods to move bodies from the scene of an accident.
The Ferrotramviaria company was founded by Count Ugo Pasquini in 1937.
The Bari-Barletta line, where today’s nightmarish scenes have unfolded, went into service in 1965, connecting Puglia’s capital city of Bari with cities to the north. It is a popular line and a vital part of the region’s transport infrastructure.
First responders diligently working at the scene to try and rescue trapped survivors
Matteo Salvini: ‘If someone has made a mistake they will pay’
He wrote: “A prayer for the train crash victims in Puglia. And if someone has made a mistake, you will pay.”
More from train company
A company spokesman for Ferrotramviaria said: “I do not yet know anything about the causes of the accident, it is still early.
“We have opened an internal investigation, as well as that of the judiciary.
“We operate 196 trains a day, nothing like this has happened before. There are technicians on site and now the priority is to handle the large flow of commuters who travel on this route.”
The mayor of nearby Corato has described the scene as horrific. Massimo Mazzilli said rescuers had just pulled a passenger out alive, and are poised to extract a second one. People were trapped in wreckage as firefighters worked in the summer heat to free passengers caught up in the twisted metal of the train carriages. Many were being treated at a field hospital at the site. “I think there are many dead,” said the commander of the Municipal Police of Andria, Riccardo Zingaro.
The fatalities are removed in the sealed container pods
A police officer has described the moment he tried to rescue people trapped in the debris of the crumpled carriages.
He told La Repubblica it was “a frightening scene, shocking.
“I saw dead people, some asking for help, people crying. It was the worst moment of my life.”
Italy’s last major train disaster killed 32
The last major rail disaster in Italy was in 2009 when a freight train derailed in Viareggio, in the centre of the country.
More than 30 people living close to the tracks killed in the subsequent fire.
The train hit the platform of a station and overturned.
Some of the wagons were reported to have been carrying liquefied petroleum gas, and two of them exploded and caught fire.
In the aftermath of the head-on collision between two trains in Puglia, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi interrupted a speech in Milan to say the country would “not stop until we know what happened”
Train company issues brief statement
The company that operates the route, Ferrotramviaria SPA, has released a brief statement.
It wrote on its Facebook page: “Trains have been stopped and a bus replacement service established.”
Italy’s national rail service, Ferrovia dello Stato, identified the company in a statement, in which it also offered its condolences and support services.
Top officials, including regional prosecutor Francesco Giannella – who has opened an investigation – and the governor of Puglia , Michele Emiliano, are headed for the crash site.
Firefighters search through the wreckage, a child was among those rescued
Debris from thecollision was thrown a long way from the crash site
Firefighters use a crane to sift through the crash debris after two passenger trains collided in Puglia, Southern Italy
The Mayor of Corato, Massimo Mazzilli wrote on Facebook: “The disaster is like a plane crash.”
The head of the Andria police department Riccardo Zingaro added: “There are many dead.”
“There was a head-on collision on a single-track and some of the carriages are completely crumpled. The rescuers are pulling people from the wreckage,” he told La Repubblica.
The injured and the dead being evacuated by rescuers at the crash sites
Italian TV news has broadcast this harrowing image that demonstrates just how severe the accident was. The violent impact occurred in the middle of an olive grove in the countryside.
The crash occurred on a train line with a single track
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has expressed “condolences” to the victims of the disaster and has vowed to find out what led to the horrific accident.
He said: “We will not rest until it is made clear.”
The wreckage of a crumpled wagon at the scene of a train accident after two commuter trains collided head-on crash near the town of Andria in the southern region of Puglia
The crash took place near the town of Andria
At least 120 people have died and 50 injured when two passenger trains ploughed into each other, it has been reported.The trains crashed head on in southern Italy today, Italian newspaper la Repubblica reported on its website.
No immediate reason was given for the crash, which happened on a rail track in the middle of the countryside, north of the city of Bari in the heel of Italy.
More than 200 trains use the line every day and work had been taking place to add an extra line to ensure an collision cannot happen.