A train exploded in Viareggio, northern Italy last night after suffering a derailment leaving at least 15 people dead and about 50 people injured, according to reports.
At around midnight local time one of the train’s 14 trucks which was carrying liquefied petroleum gasdecoupled and derailed, resulting in an explosion which caused houses and vehicles to blaze across a 300m area.
Early police reports said that the accident may have been the result of a damaged track or the speed of the train which may have crossed a red light.
A number of residential homes collapsed and rescue teams are still working to save lives. They believe there could be even more trapped among the rubble.
According to reports, Viareggio mayor Luca Lunardini said: “It was a derailment that caused the explosion of one of the rail cars filled with liquefied natural gas. It was a very strong explosion.
“Two buildings collapsed and burned down, there are others in a serious condition.”
Around 300 firefighters including a team of specialist chemical experts were bought in to deal with the emergency.