Train accident in Italy: avoidable deaths?

Five people have died in a train accident on the railway line between Milan and Turin, and several others are in hospital with serious injuries. A train without passengers ploughed into a group of maintenance workers whose company had been contracted to carry out work on the track on Wednesday night. Italy's press points to flaws in the system.

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Il Manifesto (IT) /

Scrutinise the system

A proper investigation into the case would expose the pursuit of profit as the culprit, writes railway employee Dante De Angelis in Il Manifesto:

“In view of previous court cases dealing with similar accidents, I fear that only the human error of the last link in the chain of command is being sought, without the judiciary questioning the frequency and predictability of these deaths; without questioning the system by which contracts are awarded or the focus on profit. ... This is 2023, and we are surrounded by cutting-edge technologies. ... But as far as worker safety is concerned we haven't got beyond the telephonic clearances and regulations of the last century.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

When safety is not part of the tender

La Repubblica sees the advocates of liberalisation as partially responsible for the tragedy:

“Yet another massacre of workers employed under a contract whose tender did not provide for effective coordination or prevention of the main risk faced by those who do maintenance work on the tracks at night: namely being run over by a train whose driver is not aware of the maintenance work. ... When contracts and subcontracts are liberalised willy-nilly and safety costs are squeezed, those who have pushed for liberalisation must assume responsibility for workers' lives.”