Pontiff Mourns Victims of Train Explosion


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VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009 ( Benedict XVI is urging secure working environments, as the death toll from a train accident in northern Italy continues to rise.

At least 22 people have died from an accident that occurred Monday night in Viareggio. A 14-car train carrying liquefied gas jumped the tracks and two of the cars exploded, engulfing nearby homes in flames.

"I join in the sorrow of all those who lost persons dear to them, those who were injured, and those whose property was damaged, even severely," the Holy Father said today after praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. "As I lift up my sorrowful prayer to God for all the persons involved in the tragedy, I hope that similar accidents no more occur and that everyone be guaranteed security in work and in the living of daily life."

"May God receive the dead into his peace, bring quick healing to the injured and instill comfort in the hearts of those whose loved ones have been affected," the Pope added.

Italy declared the region surrounding the accident a national disaster area on Friday, as four people remained in critical condition.