At least seven people have been declared dead and around 70 more injured as a commuter train derailed this morning near Merano in the predominatly German speaking South Tirol (Alto Adige) region.
Rescue work is currently in progress and authorities have stated that the cause could have been a landslide under the rails further to wet weather. The train left the town of Malles at 8.20 a.m. and was to arrive in Merano at 9.43.
The Val Venosta railway line, which connects inhabitants of the picturesque mountain valley with the town of Merano (Meran), is reputedly one of the most modern in the region having been inaugurated in 2005. Transport Minister Mr Altero Matteoli is heading to the site of the incident as the ever present Protezione Civile continue rescue operations.