Three people killed in 5.9-magnitude earthquake near Bologna, in northern Italy
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least three people and caused thousands of others to flee into the streets, officials say.
The quake struck in the middle of the night, about 35 km (22 miles) north of the city of Bologna.
Italian officials say the three victims died when the buildings they were working in overnight collapsed.
Italian TV showed damaged factories and church steeples in the region. Aftershocks have been reported.
Rescue teams are now combing the area amid reports that a number of people may be buried under rubble.
The earthquake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km just after 04:00 a.m. local time.
Northern Italy is frequently rocked by minor earthquake, but the country is well-prepared to deal with them.
The last major quake to hit the country killed nearly 300 people in the central town of L’Aquila in 2009.
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