Fatal explosion on Italian train

09:25, 30 June 2009
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At least 10 people...

At least 10 people were killed and 40 injured when a freight train carrying gas derailed and exploded in a northern Italian town, Ansa news agency reports, according to BBC.

The carriages jumped from the tracks and crashed into several homes, setting fire to a large area of Viareggio in the middle of the night, police said.

Seven of the victims died when their houses collapsed, police said.

Emergency crews were searching the rubble of other buildings in case people were trapped, Ansa said.

Two of the dead were on the road next to the train tracks, and a tenth died in hospital, police spokesman Raffaele Gargiulo told the Associated Press news agency.

Many of the injured suffered severe burns.

The explosion happened shortly before midnight local time (2300 BST) as the 14-carriage train headed to Pisa.

Mr Gargiulo said the incident may have been caused by damage to the tracks or a problem with the train`s braking system, AP reports.

The train`s two engineers, who were only slightly injured, said they felt an impact about 650ft (200m) outside the station, shortly before the rear of the train derailed, Mr Gargiulo said.

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