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Two former Italian railway directors convicted for fatal 2009 train gas explosion

03 February 2017

Two former railway executives have been convicted for the 2009 derailment of a freight train loaded with gas that set off an explosion that destroyed five buildings and killed 32 people in the town of Viareggio. A judge in the Tuscan town of Lucca on January 31 convicted former Italian State Railways (FS) CEO Mauro Moretti and the former chairman of subsidiary RFI, Michele Mario Elia.

Stock image
Stock image

Moretti, who was convicted for his role as RFI's ex-CEO, was sentenced to seven years in prison and Elia received term of seven years and six months. Prosecutors had sought sentences of 16 years and 15 years, respectively.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that another 10 defendants were acquitted. Many of the victims' family members packed the courtroom and applauded when the guilty verdicts were read.

After the derailment in the middle of the town on June 29, 2009, gas leaked from one of the 14 tanker wagons and ignited, causing a number of explosions and a massive fire.

According to La Stampa, the initial charges included multiple manslaughter, arson and bodily harm and were levelled against a number of individuals, companies and organisations, including the German manufacturer of the rolling stock, rail infrastructure maintenance workshops and various departments within FS.


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