Three Killed, 155 Injured in Argentina Commuter Train Crash

Three people were killed when a commuter train crashed into the back of an empty, stationary train in the outskirts of Buenos Aires today.

Besides the three deaths, 155 people were injured, according to the website of President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner.

“Our condolences go to the three families who lost their loved ones,” Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo said in a press conference in Buenos Aires. “We’ll investigate the reasons for the crash to see if it could have been prevented.”

The train driver was detained incommunicado and services on the route suspended for 24 hours to enable the investigation to be carried out, Randazzo said. The train that ran into the stationary unit had new brakes, he said.

Earlier, television images showed injured passengers lying alongside the wreckage awaiting medical assistance while others were trapped inside carriages. Railroad spokesman Pablo Gunning didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment on the crash. The accident occurred at 7 a.m. local time.

In February 2012, 52 people were killed and more than 550 injured when a train crashed into buffers after failing to stop at the Once terminal in the Argentine capital. The crash was the second-worst in the country’s history. Three months later, the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner rescinded railroad concessions held by privately owned Trenes de Buenos Aires SA. The company operated the lines on which both today’s and last year’s accidents occurred.

The lines are now run by a joint venture of the government and two private railroad operators.

Injured passengers were taken to seven different hospitals, said Carlos Grillo, undersecretary for security of Moron, the municipality in which the crash took place.

Argentina’s most serious railway crash occurred in 1970, when two trains collided near Benavidez, 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Buenos Aires, killing more than 200 people.

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