Commuter train in Argentina crashes, killing 49 people

Police and rescue workers transport an injured woman on a stretcher after a train crashed at Once train station in Buenos Aires.

A packed commuter train crashed at a Buenos Aires station during Wednesday’s morning rush hour, killing 49 people and injuring more than 600 in Argentina’s worst rail disaster in three decades.

Passengers said the force of the collision propelled the second train car inside the first carriage, trapping dozens of people in the wreckage alongside the busy platforms at Once station.

Officials said faulty brakes were suspected of causing the accident and witnesses said the train hurtled into the buffers.

“I said, ‘Be careful, the train isn’t braking’ … I moved backward because I thought it was going to run me over,” said Alfredo Velazquez, 33, a shopping center manager who was waiting on the platform.
“There was a terrible explosion and a brutal impact,” he said.

Commuters inside the train “flew through the air,” a passenger wearing a neckbrace who identified himself as Fabio told local television. “There were lots of people thrown to the floor, injured, bloodied.”

“The train (car) was embedded inside the other … the seats were gone, they disappeared, and people were jumping out of the window,” he said.

A police captain said 49 people were killed, including one child.

Relatives and friends wandered around the train station later in the day, trying to find news of missing loved ones.

President Cristina Fernandez expressed her “profound sadness,” calling off Carnival festivities and declaring two days of mourning.

“TRAIN FOLDED UP ON ITSELF”

Most of the victims were traveling in the first two cars of the eight-car train, which Transport Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said was carrying between 1,200 and 1,500 passengers.

“The train entered Once station at 26 kilometers per hour (16 mph) … we suppose there was some flaw in the brakes,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Telam. “The train folded up on itself.”

The 28-year-old driver remained in intensive care and about 460 of the injured were still being treated in local hospitals.

Wednesday’s crash is bound to fuel criticism of the country’s dilapidated and overcrowded rail services, which are run by private companies with hefty state subsidies and are prone to accidents and delays.
Argentina’s once-extensive rail network was largely dismantled during privatizations in the 1990s.
“This is the responsibility of a company that is known for insufficient maintenance and … improvisation,” said Edgardo Reinoso, a train workers’ trade union representative.

“On the other hand, there is also a lack of controls on the part of state entities,” Reinoso told local radio.

The company holding the Sarmiento line concession, TBA, said it was investigating the cause of the collision.

Some 10 million passengers travel every month on the Sarmiento line, which links Buenos Aires to its western suburbs. It was the scene of another crash in September, when two commuter trains smashed into a city bus, killing 11 people.

Months earlier, four people died during another rail crash.

The worst train accidents in Argentine history include a 1970 crash that killed more than 230 people and another in 1978, in which about 55 died, local media said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.