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2 Killed, 60 Hurt in Rome Subway Crash

October 17, 2006

ROME (AP) _ Two subway trains collided during morning rush hour Tuesday in a central Rome station, killing two people and injuring about 60 others, authorities said.

Fire department spokesman Giorgio Alocci told Sky television that two people died. Italian news reports said the victims were a Nigerian woman in her 30s and the driver of one of the two trains.

Atac, Rome’s public transport company, said one train was stopped in the station when it was hit from behind by another traveling at a high speed. Some passengers said the driver of the second train appeared to have run a red light.

About 60 people were injured, including 10 seriously, said another fire department spokesman, Luca Cari. Television footage showed stunned and bloodied passengers being led out of the station, while onlookers watched from behind police lines.

Ambulances, firefighters and rescue teams rushed to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II subway station, near Rome’s main railway station, following the 9 a.m. crash. Rescue workers set up a field hospital nearby, where they treated dozens with light injuries.

Firefighters were trying to free at least one more person trapped in the wreckage, Cari said.

``For now, we don’t know about any more people trapped, but we can’t rule it out,″ Cari said. ``We are untangling the two trains, the oncoming one went 2-3 meters (6-10 feet) into the carriage of the stopped train.″

Andrew Trovaioli, a 38-year-old passenger, said one of the trains appeared to have missed a stop light.

``I saw the red light as the train moved into the station,″ Trovaioli said, who suffered a slight injury to his elbow.

``I saw lots of blood, the impact was brutal,″ he said, adding he saw about 10 people lying on the ground, and three or four covered in rubble.

``There was panic for some 30 seconds. We were not told how to get out,″ he said.

One passenger told Sky Italia that lights went out immediately after the crash. Another passenger in the first carriage of the moving train said he could see through the driver’s front window as the accident unfolded.

``I saw clearly the red light. I saw the situation, that the metro ahead of us was stopped at the station,″ said the unidentified passenger, adding that he managed to escape serious injury because he stepped back just seconds before the impact crushed the front of his car.

The cause of the accident was not known. Atac said the station remained closed but the rest of the line was working.

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