The Venosta Valley railway disaster, 2010

On 12th April 2010, a 10-15 metre wide landslide affecting some 400 cubic metres of rock and soil, fell onto the railway line of the Venosta valley between the stations of Laces and Castelbello in South Tyrol (northern Italy), just when a local train heading to Meran was passing.

The violent impact of the landslide caused the derailing of the train. The first car in the convoy was completely destroyed, 9 persons were killed and 28 more were injured, some of them seriously.

Water percolation into the soil, caused by a spill from an irrigation system, generated the landslide.

The criminal trial was held in the absence of plaintiffs, since damages were liquidated by the insurance company, and terminated with the acquittal of all defendants.

During the trial, it was established that the incident had been caused by water spill out of a faulty valve of the irrigation system of an apple orchard uphill of the railway.

Also the Venosta valley railway disaster was caused by the use of water for economic purposes.