Dozens Killed in Argentina Train Crash

By @DanRivoli on
  • Argentina
    An earthquake hit north central Argentina on Monday, shaking the area 69 miles east-southeast of the city of Santiago del Estero. The magnitude-6.1 earthquake shook the region, but there have been no immediate reports of damages or injuries. REUTERS
  • Argentina
    Injured passengers are removed from a commuter train that crashed during Wednesday's morning rush in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. REUTERS
  • Argentina
    A commuter train in Buenos Aires crashed during Wednesday morning's rush into barriers of the central Once station, killing at least 49 people and injuring hundreds of others. REUTERS
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A train packed with rush-hour commuters in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, crashed Wednesday, killing dozens and injuring hundreds.

At least 49 people were reported dead and more than 600 suffered injuries, according to state news agency Telam.

Officials said the train, carrying more than 800 passengers, was unable to stop and slammed into the buffers of the central Once station. The train was traveling at about 26 kilometers per hour (16 miles per hour), Telam said. The accident occurred at 8:30 a.m (1130 GMT).

I felt the explosion of the crash. It was very loud. The train did not brake, I saw people hurt in their necks, arms, legs, a passenger told Agence France-Presse.

Argentina's transportation secretary, Juan Pablo Schiavi, said faulty brakes could have been blamed for the deadly accident.

It was a very serious accident, Schiavi told reporters, adding that brake failure was suspected as the cause. Cars piled up on top of each other and one them went 6 meters (20 feet) inside another car.

In Argentina's worst rail accident in 30 years, chaos and panic reigned as the impact of the collision propelled the second train car into the first carriage, trapping dozens of people as others looked on from the station's busy platforms, Reuters cited passengers as saying.

One child was among the dead, a police official was quoted as saying.

A member of the union representing train conductors, Ruben Sobrero, said the trains' braking system had been checked as recently as Tuesday.

Some 10 million passengers travel every month on the Sarmiento line, which links Buenos Aires to the city's western suburbs, Reuters noted.

Argentina's dilapidated, overcrowded rail lines are run by private companies but heavily subsidized by the state. Accidents and delays are common.

A federal judge, Claudio Bonadio, will investigate the cause of the train crash, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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