5 Italian railway workers killed in accident, trade unions announce strike
A tragedy occurred in the night of 30 August, when five railway maintenance workers died after being hit by an empty passing train in Brandizzo, along the Turin-Milan railway line in Italy. The victims worked for external contractor company Sigifer, says Italian railway manager RFI.
An investigation has been started into the cause of the accident, announced the infrastructure manager RFI. According to Italian media, the five victims were between the ages of 22 and 52, and were carrying out replacement work on a few meters of track near the station when they were hit an empty train, which was part of a technical convoy carrying wagons from Alessandria to Turin on the conventional Turin-Milan line. Two other workers, who were working nearby, are said to have managed to avoid the locomotive and get to safety without being injured.
“As for the speed of the train, the conditions of the line allowed it to reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h on that section.The works – according to procedure – should only have started after the passage of that train”, says RFI in an update on the website of FS Group, the Italian state railways.
The compliance with the security procedures in place is being investigated, according to RFI. The investigation is done by “qualified and certified external companies, and they are carried out as foreseen in the absence of trains”, states the Italian railway manager.
Strike announced by unions
Several Italian trade unions have proclaimed a strike for tomorrow, September 1st, following the accident which led to the death of the five railway workers. The employees of RFI in charge of the management and execution of infrastructure maintenance go on strike for the last four hours of the daily service on 1st September and the night shift between 31st August and 1st September.
During the trade union protest, all emergency intervention activities will be guaranteed in the event of breakdowns and critical issues on the railway network.
“Rete Ferroviaria Italiana expresses deep sorrow in the face of what happened and extends its condolences and closeness to the families of the deceased workers”, the Italian railway infrastructure manager wrote in a statement.