One person was killed and 25 others were injured when a train hit a lorry on a level crossing in southern Italy yesterday, press reports said.

The person killed was the train’s driver. Most of the injured suffered bruises and 10 were hospitalised.

The 26-year-old lorry driver from Romania was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

“What is striking is that the lorry driver was primarily concerned about his own safety rather than caring about the passengers of the high-speed train,” said a prosecutor in Brindisi, Marco Dinapoli.

“He could have broken through the (second) safety barrier, which would have activated a device that would have stopped the train,” he added.

The accident occurred near Brindisi in the Apulia region when the lorry tried to cross the line just as the safety barrier was closing.

The high-speed Freccia Argento train, which travelled between Rome and Lecce yesterday morning, was derailed by the impact but did not overturn.