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Buenos Aires Train Crash

February 24, 2012 by staff 

Buenos Aires Train Crash, A packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires during rush hour Wednesday, leaving at least 49 dead, 600 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage.

“The train was full and the impact was tremendous,” a passenger identified only as Ezequiel told local television, adding that medics at the scene appeared overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.

Witnesses said the train’s brakes failed as it was arriving at the Once station on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires.

Passengers were hurled on top of each other and knocked to the floor of the train “in the blink of an eye,” some losing consciousness and others seriously injured, they said.

“Unfortunately, we must report that there are 49 dead in the accident,” including a child, police spokesman Nestor Rodriguez told a news conference.

Civil defense officials said at least 600 people were hurt in the crash, including 200 seriously.

Medevac helicopters landed in the street outside the station to ferry the most seriously wounded to hospitals, as ambulances raced in and out of the area with the injured.

“There were people who were crushed and shouting desperately. I saw bodies and blood all over the place,” said Alejandro Velazquez.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner suspended a news conference on the dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands following news of the crash.

Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said the train entered the station at a speed of 20 km/h, and failed to stop, crashing into a retaining wall at the end of the track.

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