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

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

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:

5 PHOTOS
Images from train crash in Italy
See Gallery
Images from train crash in Italy
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.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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.

RELATED: By the mile - The riskiest forms of transportation

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job 20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job
Rescuer Sees Bumps All Over This Dog's Skin - Then X-Rays Reveal The Tragic Story Rescuer Sees Bumps All Over This Dog's Skin - Then X-Rays Reveal The Tragic Story
Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going