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Argentina: At least 99 injured in Buenos Aires train crash

20th Oct 2013

[Policemen and firemen work after a train from the Sarmiento line crashed at the Once Station, in Buenos Aires (Xinhua/Enrique Cabrera/TELAM)]


BUENOS AIRES, (Xinhua): At least 99 people were injured in a train crash at a Buenos Aires commuter rail station on Saturday, officials said.

There are 99 people who were hospitalized for injuries after the train crash at the Once train station in Buenos Aires, a local official said.

Security Secretary of Argentina Sergio Berni said no fatalities had been recorded so far.

Argentine Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo said earlier at a press conference that 80 people have been treated and that only eight remained “under observation” after a Sarmiento Line train hit containment fences at the station in the Balvanera neighborhood at 7:35 a.m. local time.

“None of them was seriously injured,” he was quoted by the official news agency as saying.

Randazzo ruled out technical problem being the cause of the train crash, as early reports indicated the train had trouble braking when it hit the fence.

He said the train known as “Chapa 5″ had had an integral mechanical inspection that checks the break system, compression, bumper and general maintenance.

The driver Julio Benitez had tested negative for alcohol before his work shift and Benitez did not communicate with the control tower to warn of any failures, the minister added.

He also said the railway of the station where the accident occurred was also inspected Friday night.

But he said the train “traveled at a speed of 22 km per hour (kph),” higher than the regulated 12 kph in this section. The driver was also injured and taken into custody.

The station was closed at about 8:00 a.m. local time as rescue personnel and police sifted through the wreckage.

“The driver is in police detention,” Berni said, adding that “a policeman was injured by a train’s splinter.”

“We are going to search within the trains to verify if there is any victim,” he said.

Alberto Crescenti, director of Emergency Medical Attention System, said that “80 ambulances, two helicopters and two disaster special-units” took part in the rescue.

In the train history of Argentina, numerous accidents have occurred, especially in the recent years. A similar crash at the same rail stop killed 51 people on Feb. 22, last year

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