Armenia's President expresses condolences over Italy train crash

President Serzh Sargsyan on Tuesday, July 12 sent a letter of condolences to his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella over the collision of two trains in Puglia region.

An antiquated phone system used to direct train traffic through a single-track section of the Italian rail system likely contributed to a head-on collision that killed at least 23 people, Italy's transport minster said Wednesday.

Right now, "human error" stays the inside line of inquiry, reports La Repubblica newspaper.

The two trains were on a single track line at the time of the crash, between the coastal towns of Bari and Barletta.

"Tears and sorrow for the victims and their families, but also so much anger", Mr Renzi said yesterday. "We are demanding clarity about what happened in Puglia this morning".

Mr Renzi later flew to the crash site.

Local prosecutors have launched multiple manslaughter probe.

Rescue works were set to continue through the night even if hopes to find survivors were slim, Italian media reported.

National police and Carabinieri couldn't immediately give details about the extent of the crash, saying they were in the middle of responding.

Riccardo Zingaro, the chief of the local police in Andria, told Sky it was "a great tragedy".

"Surely one of the two trains shouldn't have been there", he said. The two regional trains consisting of four wagons each hit one another on the front and on both sides. I climbed past people in pieces, how sad.

This aerial image shows what is left of the two trains after the collision.

Meanwhile, the local authorities appealed for blood donors to come forward urgently to help save the life of dozens of passengers hospitalized throughout the region.

Many more people are injured and some are in a critical condition.

Firefighters are still working in the summer heat to free passengers caught up in the twisted metal of the train carriages.

"I went barefoot under the wreckage".

"The impact was significant, and we are now verifying the consequences", said Giovanni De Siervo of Italy's civil-protection service. "My brother said she (his missing wife) had a necklace with the letter M on it, and a scar here, signs that could identify her. A nurse said they have probably identified her".

Kicking up clouds of dust, helicopters landed in a nearby field to pick up the most seriously injured.

More than 30 people living close to the tracks died in the subsequent fire. By mid-afternoon a crane had arrived at the scene to start lifting the smashed carriages to see whether any bodies were still trapped under the wreckage.

Andria Mayor Nicola Giorgino said the crash was particularly tragic since work was to begin within a few months to build a second track on the route.

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