Italy train crash: Human error may be to blame

There has been no confirmation on the cause of the train crash, which claimed the lives of 20 people.

The scene of a fatal head-on train collision in Southern Italy on 12 July 2016. Picture: Vigili del Fuoco.

ITALY - With the death toll from today's train crash in southern Italy now at 20, emergency officials believe many people remain trapped in the wreckage.

Dozens of survivors have already been taken to hospital, with at least four in a serious condition.

Two passenger trains collided head-on this morning.

Human error may have been to blame for the crash, though there's been no official confirmation.

Aerial photographs of the train crash show the mangles wreckage of several derailed carriages, some of which were completely crushed by the impact, lying on either side of the tracks.

The scene in south eastern Italy bears testament to the force with which the two passenger trains collided.

Firefighters are still searching for survivors and victims, having already rescued several people since this morning's accident - including a small child.

A police officer on the scene has told a local news agency it was the most terrible incident he had ever encountered.

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has described the crash as "a moment for tears", while local authorities have issued an urgent appeal for blood donations.