Death toll in Italy train crash rises to 27, cause still unclear

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At least 12 dead, dozens injured after two trains collide in Italy

The death toll from a high speed train crash in southern Italy rose to 27 on Wednesday after rescuers worked through the night to try to extract bodies from the tangled wreckage and continued their search in the morning.

With Italian media focusing on the antiquated technology on the single-track line, prosecutors have opened an investigation and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised that the cause of Tuesday's accident will be quickly identified.

Images from the tragic accident:

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Images from train crash in Italy
The wreckage of a crumpled wagon at the scene of a train accident after two commuter trains collided head-on in the southern region of Puglia, killing several people, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Italian Firefighter Press Office via AP)
Italian firefighters Vigili del Fuoco respond to the scene of a train accident after two commuter trains collided head-on in the southern region of Puglia, killing several people, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Italian Firefighter Press Office via AP)
Italian firefighters Vigili del Fuoco inspect the wreckage of two commuter trains after their head-on collision in the southern region of Puglia, killing several people, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Italian Firefighter Press Office via AP)
This aerial handout photo shows what is left of two commuters trains after their head-on collision in the southern region of Puglia, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. At least 10 people died and several others are reported injured. (Italian Firefighter Press Office via AP)
Firefighters work at the site where two passenger trains collided in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari, Italy, in this handout picture released by Italian Firefighters July 12, 2016. Italian Firefighters/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Firefighters work at the site where two passenger trains collided in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari, Italy, in this handout picture released by Italian Firefighters July 12, 2016. Italian Firefighters/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Two passenger trains are seen after a collision in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari, Italy, in this handout picture released by Italian Firefighters July 12, 2016. Italian Firefighters/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Two passenger trains are seen after a collision in the middle of an olive grove in the southern village of Corato, near Bari, Italy, in this handout picture released by Italian Firefighters July 12, 2016. Italian Firefighters/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
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Rescuers were still searching for the driver of one of the trains that collided head-on while traveling down the same stretch of track linking the small towns of Corato and Andria in the southeastern Puglia region in Italy's heel.

The driver of the other train was one of the victims. With dozens of people injured, some seriously, rescuers expected the death toll could rise higher.

It is still unclear whether the accident was due to human error or a technical problem on a stretch of track where safety is dependent on telephone calls rather than computer systems.

Amid allegations that European Union funds available to upgrade the line had been wasted, Transport Minister Graziano Delrio was to address parliament on the accident at 1100 GMT.

While Italy boasts efficient high-speed train links between its main cities of Naples, Rome, Milan and Turin, much of the country is still dependent on slow, outdated and dilapidated services, especially in the undeveloped south.

Commentator Roberto Saviano, author of best-selling novel Gomorra about the Naples underworld, said Renzi has to do something about the country's "abandoned and neglected" railways.

"Getting around by train in the southern regions of Puglia, Calabria, Campania, Basilicata and Sicily is an enterprise for adventurers," he wrote on his Facebook page.

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