Argentina Train Crash
February 22, 2012 by staff
Argentina Train Crash, A packed train slammed into the end of the line in Buenos Aires’ busy Once station Wednesday, killing 49 people and injuring hundreds of morning commuters in Argentina’s worst train accident in decades.
Federal Police Commissioner Nestor Rodriguez says the dead include 48 adults and one child. It’s Argentina’s highest death toll from a train accident since 1970, when 200 were killed in a train collision.
Alberto Crescenti, the city’s emergency medical director, said at least 550 people were injured, and said that 30 people remain trapped inside the first car, where rescuers carved open the roof and set up a pulley system to pull them out.
The commuter train came in too fast and hit the barrier at the end of the platform at about 20 kilometres per hour, smashing the front of the engine and crunching the leading cars behind it. One car penetrated almost six metres into the next, Argentina Transportation Secretary J.P. Schiavi told reporters at the station.
Most damaged was the first car, where passengers make space for bicycles. Survivors told the TeleNoticias channel that many people were injured in a jumble of metal and glass.
Once railway station, Plaza Miserere
Passengers said windows exploded as the tops of train cars separated from their floors. The trains are usually packed with people standing between the seats, and many were thrown into each other and to the floor by the force of the hard stop.
Many people suffered bruises, and many with lesser injuries were waiting for attention on the Once station’s platforms as helicopters and more than a dozen ambulances took the most seriously injured to nearby hospitals.
“This machine left the shop yesterday and the brakes worked well,” Ruben Sobrero, union chief on the Sarmiento line, told Radio La Red. “From what we know, it braked without problems at previous stations. At this point I don’t want to speculate about the causes.”
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