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Five workers overwhelmed on the tracks in the Turin area: what happened?

There would be a lack of or incorrect communication at the origin of the accident that caused the death of five workers on the tracks of the Brandizzo station in the night between 30 and 31 August, hit by a convoy traveling at 160 kilometers per hour. According to the first reconstruction, the engine and the 11 passenger carriages, which were empty (the train moved for logistical reasons) arrived at the workers shortly after midnight. The impact was very violent. Two workers who were a few meters away were saved, as was the engineer who was in shock.

The dynamics

Polfer and the Ivrea prosecutor’s office investigate, trying to understand how the train on one side and the workers on the other weren’t informed of their respective presence. The station is a few kilometers from Turin, where there are cameras and traffic signs. Documents and phonograms are analyzed which communicate the passage of trains and the presence of workers and work on the tracks.

The railway maintenance workers worked on behalf of an external contractor, Sigifer of Borgo Vercelli. «A colleague from 118 told me he saw a creepy scene, with human fragments within 300 meters. It’s a huge tragedy» said the mayor of Brandizzo, Paolo Bodoni. This is the note from the Italian railway network: “Rfi expresses deep sorrow in the face of what happened and extends its condolences and closeness to the families of the deceased workers”.

The victims

The youngest of the victims of the accident is Kevin Laganà, 22 years old. He originally from Messina, he lived in Vercelli. He had started working for the company in 2019. Michael Zanera was 34 years old and was from Vercelli. This is his last message on social media in a story: «It’s the first time this has happened to me, while I was tying the rail a crucifix came out. God definitely wants to tell me something even though I call him every day lately because it’s not a good time for me”. He often posted photos with colleagues at work at night. The 43-year-old Giuseppe Sorbillo was born in Capua and lives in Brandizzo. He worked as a welder. The other two dead workers are Giuseppe Saverio Lombardo, 52, born in Marsala and resident in Vercelli, and Giuseppe Aversa, 49, from Chivasso.

Safety at work

Giorgio Airaudo, general secretary of CGIL Piemonte, talks about a new Thyssen: «Sixteen years later we are facing a new Thyssen. What happened at Brandizzo station is inconceivable, especially in Turin and Piedmont. The subcontracting system saves companies money, but puts the health and life of workers at risk. Company policies aimed at savings increase risks and victims, lead to tragedies and jeopardize the lives of people who leave home to work and never return. A system that needs to change.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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