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
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.