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One killed, more than 100 hurt in subway crash

Published October 17, 2006

ROME (AP) - A subway train plowed into another that was stopped in a central Rome station during rush hour yesterday morning, killing one person and injuring more than 100 as passengers screamed and ran for the exits.

Morgan Morel
Italian firefighters inspect the wreckage of two subway trains in a station in central Rome yesterday. A subway train slammed into the back of another that was stopped at a station. (AP PHOTO)

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Some witnesses said the driver of the moving train appeared to have run a red light. Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Thick, black smoke filled the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II subway station, and panicked passengers ran after the crash, witnesses said. Stunned and bloodied passengers were led from the station, according to TV video.

"People in my carriage were sprawled all over the floor crying and screaming," said Kahn Jaris Hassan, a 29-year-old native of India, who was in the moving train.

"Inside there were many people covered in blood shouting for help, many too injured to walk," Hassan said at San Giovanni Hospital, where he was waiting for a friend to be treated.

The prefect's office said that 110 people had been taken to hospitals, and that five were in serious condition.

The driver of the moving train was trapped in the rubble, but was pulled out alive. Earlier reports said he had died at the hospital, but that was later denied.

Authorities said the person killed was a 30-year-old Italian woman. She and the most seriously injured had been in the last car of the halted train.

Ambulances, firefighters and rescue teams rushed to the station, near Rome's main railway station. Rescue workers set up a field hospital nearby, where they treated dozens of people.

Rescuers worked to untangle the wreckage. The moving train had pushed 6 to 9 feet into the stopped train, said fire department spokesman Luca Cari.

Passenger Andrew Trovaioli, 38, said one of the trains appeared to have missed a stop light.

"I saw the red light as the train moved into the station," Trovaioli said.