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World Briefing / Italy

At least 14 killed in train explosion

July 01, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

At least 14 people were killed and dozens injured overnight in Italy when a freight train hauling liquefied petroleum gas derailed and exploded as it passed their homes, officials said.

About 1,000 people were evacuated after the blast just before midnight Monday in the Tuscan seaside town of Viareggio, about 180 miles north of Rome. More than 30 people were seriously injured, with many of them in critical condition with severe burns. Three children were among the dead.

The accident happened when an axle on one car of the 14-car train buckled and caused the derailment, officials said. Firefighters battled to contain blazes started by the explosion, which spread to nearby buildings and set cars alight.

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