MILAN—A high-speed passenger train on the heavily used Milan-Bologna line in northern Italy derailed before dawn on Feb. 6, with the motor car completely detaching and slamming into a railroad building, killing two railway workers and injuring 27 people, authorities said.
The state-railway Freccia Rossa train went off the rails while traveling at nearly 300 kph (180 mph), Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli told state radio.
Authorities said the train engineer and another train employee, apparently also an engineer, were killed in the crash, which occurred in the countryside outside the town of Lodi.
“The engine car derailed, detached completely, and kept going,” Girolamo Fabiano, a railroad police official, told state radio. ”Then, the second car derailed.”
The second car was believed to be a business class passenger car. The rest of the cars remained upright.
“There shouldn’t be any more deaths,” Marcello Cardona, a government representative in Lodi, told reporters at the scene, adding it was lucky the toll hadn’t been higher.
Given the early hour, the train was uncrowded, with only about 30 passengers aboard, police said.
Fabiano said that work had occurred on that stretch of track during the night; he said the cause of the crash, which was under investigation, was unclear.
Borrelli said the high-speed train had departed from Milan and was headed south to Bologna when it derailed. Borrelli said two of the injured were in serious condition, while the other 25 were less seriously hurt.
The passenger train run is part of a popular high-speed rail service known as Freccia Rossa, or the Red Arrow service. Its southern destination was supposed to be Salerno, a port city south of Naples.
Rail traffic was diverted to local tracks, with delays of about an hour reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.