A fatal accident occurred on one of the construction sites of the Genoa Junction project in Italy, causing the death of a worker with another one suffering injuries. The tragedy led various Italian unions to go on strike at the facility for a day and demand a meeting with the organizations concerned, Railway Supply reports citing RailFreight.

Genoa Junction

The accident happened near Voltaggio in Piedmont. According to the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, two men were working on the cover of the tunnel when they were engulfed in flames. This flame was probably caused by natural methane leaking from rocks ignited by a spark.

Three unions, Feneal, Filca and Fillea, went on strike at Genoa Junction construction sites during three eight-hour shifts after the accident. Feneal sources said most of the workers took part in the strike, reaching a 100% attendance from the group that worked at the scene of the accident.

Russian Railways plans to increase the tariff for empty wagons mileage by 51%

The investigation of the tragedy is currently ongoing. One of the most common explanations is that the leak was caused by the removal of the tunnel’s caisson. Both the minister and the Feneal union said all safety checks were carried out before the start of the shift and no problems were found, however, many workers indicated that the rescue operation could have been carried out more quickly.

Both workers, in fact, climbed out of the tunnel on their own legs, despite burns and injuries. However, one worker did not survive and died on the way to the hospital. The second worker was more fortunate, given that his injuries were not too severe, he was released from the hospital a few hours later.

A Feneal spokesman stressed that the union met with the prefect less than two weeks ago, saying there is a significant shortage of provincial inspectors. There are actually only two inspectors for the entire province of Alessandria due to constant cuts in the sector.

Unfortunately, death at work is an old and persistent problem in Italy. More than 1,000 workers die almost every year in Italy while on the job, making this one of the highest rates in Europe. As the representative of the union stressed, “it’s like a small town disappears every year.” In fact, more than 100 Italian workers have already died since the beginning of the year. This is why many trade unions and associations are calling on the Italian government to implement the crime of homicide on the job. This will ensure harsher penalties for those responsible for such deaths. However, this decree has been discussed for almost a decade.

Railway news you might have missed:

System for monitoring the state of railroad switches is successfully tested

Find the latest news of the railway industry in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the rest of the world on our page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, read Railway Supply magazine online.

Place your ads on webportal and in Railway Supply magazine. Detailed information is in Railway Supply media kit