Rescuers rushed to the tunnel in a locomotive. From inside came the sound of the stalled engines still puffing slowly; bodies were sprawled beside the track; 530 passengers had died of asphyxiation.
The date was March 2, 1944. The Allied Military Government hushed up the accident then because of the adverse effect it would have had on Italian morale; the accident received little publicity after the war. Eventually 300 lawsuits, asking damages of more than one billion lire ($1,600,000), were filed by relatives of the victims. Not until last week, when the cases were pending before the Naples Appellate Court, did the Italian press give wide publicity to the worst accident in Italian railroad history.