Shocking CCTV footage has been released showing a woman dragged along by a metro train in Rome while the driver obliviously eats his lunch.

Belarusian national Natalya Garkovich was dragged along the platform after her bag strap became caught in the train doors on Wednesday 12 July. It is believed Garkovich managed to free herself and was not dragged into the tunnel.

The accident left her with a punctured lung and broken back. She was operated on and her condition is said to be stable.

Driver Gianluca Tonelli did not stop the train, despite other passengers raising the emergency alarm. CCTV footage shows Tonelli eating his lunch as the train departs the station.

"It's true, I shouldn't have been eating on the job. I made a mistake and I am devastated about what happened to that woman," Tonelli told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"But in the video it can also be seen that I looked twice in the mirror, I was not reckless," he added.

He blamed the accident on his working conditions, claiming that he had to work five-hour shifts without breaks and was therefore forced to eat his lunch while driving.

Stefano Bottoni, national secretary of trade union Sul, said additional safety measures should be put in place to avoid a repeat incident.

"If the trains were equipped with cameras in the cockpit it might have been different," he told Italian news agency Ansa.

It is not the first time someone has been seriously injured while using public transport in Italy due to poor management and maintenance. In October, a door fell off of moving train, injuring two people. Last June, two trains collided near Bari, killing 27 and injuring dozens more.

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