Alstom Executive investigates over Italian train crash

ROME, Feb. 14 (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors investigated a senior officer from the Alstom engineering group after a deadly high-speed train derailment in the northern Italian region of Lodi last week.

Alstom confirmed that Michele Viale, head of the Italian unit Alstom Ferroviaria, was among the people investigated for the February 6 incident in which two train drivers were killed and numerous passengers injured.

On Thursday, the head of the rail safety authority ANSF told a hearing from the Italian Senate that the prosecutor’s office was examining the possibility that faulty wiring of the switchgear supplied by Alstom could have been a factor in the accident.

ANSF has alerted other rail network operators of a possible malfunction of the switching equipment supplied by the group.

Alstom said it was cooperating with investigators. “We are mobilizing all of our resources to provide the requested support,” said a statement.

Viale was unavailable for immediate comment.

The accident occurred in the early morning of February 6 when a Frecciarossa high-speed train jumped over the tracks while traveling at an estimated speed of 280 km / h. The front engine jumped onto an adjacent route and crashed into idle freight cars before it stopped several hundred meters away.

Immediately after the accident, officials said that the line had been serviced overnight and that investigators had asked if this work could have caused the disaster.

(Reporting by Stefano Bern thereby writing by James Mackenzie editing by David Goodman)

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