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Milan train derailment kills 3, injures dozens

A commuter train has derailed in northern Italy, killing at least three people, seriously injuring 10 and trapping others who were heading into Milan at the start of the work day, officials said.

Passengers reported feeling train cars shake a few minutes before accident in northern Italy

At least 3 dead, dozens injured after train crash near Milan

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Police say track issues may be to blame 1:34

A commuter train derailed Thursday in northern Italy, killing at least three people, seriously injuring 10 and trapping others heading into Milan at the start of the work day, officials said.

The Trenord train derailed at a switch track near the Pioltello Limito station on the outskirts of the city, halting train traffic into and out of Italy's financial capital for hours. A piece of the track appeared broken, and officials said a wheel sustained damage as well, though the cause was under investigation.

At least two main cars from the middle of the train peeled off the rails but were still standing, albeit at an angle. Rescue crews gingerly climbed through the crushed sides of the cars trying to get to trapped passengers.

A woman is helped out of the wrecked car of a train that derailed at the station of Pioltello Limito, on the outskirts of Milan, on Thursday. (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors at the scene said at least three people were killed, 10 were seriously injured and dozens more slightly injured.

The train was heading from Cremona, in eastern Lombardy, into Milan's Garibaldi station and suffered some sort of damage to a wheel about 2.5 kilometres from where the train came to a halt, said Umberto Debruto, who is in charge of the railway network in Italy.

Debruto told Sky TG24 that it wasn't clear "if that was the cause or the result" of the derailment. Images of the track showed a chunk of one rail missing, but it wasn't clear what role it played. He said the train was travelling at the correct speed for that hour, on that stretch of track.

Passengers reported feeling the car shake for a few minutes before hearing a big bang, and then feeling the car crush in on them.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the train to derail on the outskirts of Milan, Italy, on Thursday morning. (Matteo Bazzo/ANSA via Associated Press)

Trenord is the regional train company serving the Lombardy region. It is notorious among passengers for dirty, packed cars and frequent delays. On social media Thursday, it was ridiculed for tweets blaming delays into Milan on a "technical inconvenience" involving a train.

It was the latest incident involving Italy's aging rail system:

  • In 2016, 23 people were killed when two trains collided on a single track in an olive grove in Puglia, southeastern Italy.
  • In 2009, 32 people were killed when a freight train carrying liquefied petroleum gas derailed and exploded in Viareggio, in central Italy's Tuscany region.

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