12 April 2010
Images of the Italian railway landslide today
Posted by Dave Petley
A landslide (frana in Italian) occurred this morning at Merano, near to Bolzano in northern Italy, striking a train that was derailed. Reports suggest that
11 9 people were killed and a further 30 were injured. This is a Google Earth image of Merano with a railway line marked in black, but I am not sure where the accident occurred or even if it is in this image.
Il Giornale has some images of the accident site:
From the look of these images, this appears to be a shallow failure from a slope above a retaining wall. Early suggestions are that the landslide was triggered by a leaking irrigation pipe, which saturated the soil, triggering failure. Clearly that is just conjecture at this point.
This type of landslide-induced rail accident occurs occasionally. I am reminded of this one in China in July last year.
The mudslide and accident occured much more to the west (ca.20km), between the small towns of Kastelbell and LatschCoordinates ca. 46°37´43´´ and 10°52´54´´ on the orographic right of the main riverI will try to get some updates:http://rockglacier.blogspot.com/2010/04/landslide-in-south-tyrol-causes-train.html