ROME (AP) — A suspected arson fire threw Italy’s high-speed rail system into chaos Monday, forcing the cancellation of dozens of train runs and frustrating vacationers and commuters along the heavily-traveled Milan-Naples corridor.
The state railways company said the suspicious fire occurred near Rovezzano station along the Rome-Florence line and caused those trains which did depart to be delayed as much as four hours.
The blaze was under investigation.
Amid deteriorating relations between feuding government parties, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini went to Rovezzano to inspect the site after dangling the possibility that the fire might be linked to a recent reprise of violent protests by opponents of construction of a high-speed train line between France and Italy, known as TAV.
Salvini has been blasting his coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, for opposing the TAV project. On Sunday, he suggested that its opposition to TAV construction could put the year-old populist government’s very survival at risk.