• Short Summary

    As the crack 'Italicus' express train roared through a tunnel beneath the Appenine mountains in Central Italy on Sunday (4 August) two bombs exploded in a crowded second class compartment, killing at least twelve people and injuring forty.

  • Description

    As the crack 'Italicus' express train roared through a tunnel beneath the Appenine mountains in Central Italy on Sunday (4 August) two bombs exploded in a crowded second class compartment, killing at least twelve people and injuring forty.

    The explosions were followed by fire and as the train, carrying about 1,000 passengers from Rome to West Germany, careered out of the tunnel panic-stricken creams and cries of horror could be heard from the blazing carriage.

    Station workers at San Benedetto Val Di Sambro, near where the train finally lurched to a halt, said that no sound emerged from the tunnel when the bombs went off. The first they knew of the disaster was when the flaming train burst into the open. Eyewitnesses said the 12 bodies so far recovered were burned beyond recognition.

    Convoys of ambulances sped to the disaster scene and police said they feared the death toll would rise as searchers picked their way through the wreckage.

    Political leaders condemned the disaster - one of the worst acts of terror to happen in Italy since World War two - as the work of right-wing extremists.

    President Giovanni Leone branded it as an act of "mad murderers" and vowed in a statement that Italy would never fall to forces of violence.

    Observers said that the train bombs appeared to form part of a so-called strategy of tension adopted in recent years by groups of neo-fascists designed to throw the country into chaos and encourage a military coup d' etat.

    The Secretary of Italy's powerful Christian Democrat Party, Signor Amintore Fanfani, called for urgent measures to stamp out subversive groups working to deny Italians the freedom which was "tragically taken from them by fascism."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABODE6Z0ZRMO1W71YYHR9AHBY5
    Media URN:
    VLVABODE6Z0ZRMO1W71YYHR9AHBY5
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/08/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:25:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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