Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 12:44 pm
A commuter train carrying people into downtown Buenos Aires collided with a retaining wall during morning rush hour, killing at least 49 people riding in carriages and waiting on the platform. As many as 600 people are hurt and firefighters are still trying to cut through wreckage to reach trapped people, says Telam, Argentina's national news agency.
J.P. Schiavi, Argentina's transportation secretary, told Telam he suspects the brakes are at fault. The Los Angeles Times cites speculation from members of a rail workers' union who blame aging or unreliable equipment.
Reuters notes that millions of people use commuter trains each month, which are privately owned and subsidized by the Argentinian government, but need maintenance work and are overcrowded.
Most of the victims were in the first and second cars, and Schiavi told reporters the train came into the station too quickly, the engine plowed into the barrier at the end of the platform and the carriages pancaked behind it, according to AP.