On March 2 in 1944, a train halted in a tunnel near Salerno in Italy, more than 500 people on board suffocated and perished. Occurring during the final stage of World War II, the details of this incident were not revealed at the time and remain somewhat mysterious to date.
At 7 PM on 2 March 1944 the freight train 8017 started from Battipaglia heading to Potenza on the Battipaglia–Metaponto railway. The train, hauled by two locomotives.
Although it was a freight train and was not supposed to carry passengers, it wasn’t uncommon at the time for soldiers and civilians alike to hitch rides on any train. Passing through the towns of Eboli, Persano and Romagnano, the 8017 had picked up about 650 passengers by the time it reached Balvano.
At 00:50 AM the train left the station of Balvano, the last one before the disaster.
On the steeply graded Armi tunnel the train stalled…
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