At least 23 people have been killed and more than 50 injured in a head-on collision between two trains in the south of Italy, according to rescuers at the scene.
The high-speed collision happened on a slight bend in the track in open countryside and flung the front carriages of both trains into olive groves bordering the line, slinging bits of metal from the wreckage.
Emergency services raced to extract people from the wreckage of smashed carriages thrown across a single track into olive groves near the town of Andria, in what one witness described as an “apocalyptic scene”.
Coffins were taken to the site near the city of Bari to carry away the first of the dead as 200 rescue workers sifted through the wreckage in temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius.
“I saw dead people, others who were begging for help, people crying. The worst scene of my life,” one policeman told journalists.
Giancarlo Conticchio, head of the railway police for the region, said more than 40 people were injured, four of them critically.
“We will be working through the night to search the wreckage for survivors or other victims,” he said.
The trains were operated by private railway company Ferrotramviaria — just one of the 30 or so private companies which run on small lines criss-crossing Italy’s network in areas not covered by national operator Trenitalia.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said it was “a moment for tears” and the country would “not stop until we know what happened”.
He was expected to participate at a crisis unit meeting at the Bari prefecture later in the day.
Pope Francis sent his “fervent prayers for those who have tragically died”.
Man divorces wife just 15 minutes after Islamic marriage in Dubai
A man in Dubai divorced his bride just 15 minutes after their Islamic marriage as he felt ‘insulted’ by her father’s bride price demands.
The man agreed to pay his new father-in-law Dh100,000 for their wedding but the older man became impatient to get the cash, DailyMail reported.
According to Gulf News, family members and friends accompanied the couple to a Sharia judge’s office to witness the marriage contract being signed. The groom then gave Dh 50,000 on the spot as agreed, with the rest to come after the party left the court building, according to Gulf News.
But, the bride’s father demanded the remaining cash as soon as the signing was over, even though the groom didn’t have it on him.
He said it would only take five minutes to walk to his car, which was parked outside, and get the rest of the bride price.
Instead of letting him retrieve it, the father insisted him to pay either right then or send a friend or relative to get the money while he stayed inside.
The groom felt insulted and demeaned by the series of demands and called off the marriage immediately, a lawyer handling the case said.
‘He told the bride’s father that he did not want his daughter as his wife and divorced her in less than 15 minutes from signing the marriage contract,’ he said.Follow @gorkhapost