Death toll from head-on train crash in Italy reaches 20


Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has described a head-on train crash in the southern part of the country as "a moment of tears" after at least 20 people were confirmed dead in the collision.

Emergency crews were attending the scene of the wreckage, with reports a seven-year-old boy had been pulled from it sparking hope of finding other trapped passengers alive.

The trains collided on a single track near the town of Andria in the region of Puglia. Both trains are reported to belong to a Bari-based private rail company, Ferrotramviaria SpA.

Italian premier Matteo Renzi, right, is flanked by Milan's Mayor Matteo Sala
( Luca Bruno/AP/PA)

Renzi has pledged not to stop until the cause of the crash has been determined.

The mayor of nearby Corato has described the scene as horrific. Massimo Mazzilli said rescuers had pulled a passenger out alive, and that they were poised to extract a second person.

Mazzilli posted photos of the wreckage on his Facebook page.

Massimo Mazzilli added 5 new photos. - Massimo Mazzilli | Facebook

He wrote: "It's a disaster, as if an aeroplane fell. Rescue workers and civil protection are on the scene, but unfortunately there are victims."

An aerial image of the crash site shows a scattered mess where the two trains collided and were forced off the rails.

Local officials have issued a request for blood donations.