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Train crash in Argentine capital leaves 30 injured

Buenos Aires – A passenger train crashed into a maintenance train in Buenos Aires on Friday, leaving at least 30 people hospitalized, including two in serious condition, Argentina’s emergency officials said.

The SAME emergency service said  firefighters had evacuated everyone on the passenger train after the accident in the suburb of Palermo.

“Dogs have combed through the carriages. We assisted 90 passengers, 30 of whom were transferred to hospitals, two of them with head trauma who were evacuated by helicopter,” said SAME official Alberto Crescenti, speaking at the scene.

The accident took place at 10:30 am, when the seven-car passenger train crashed into a maintenance train on the tracks of a railway bridge.

“The locomotive and first passenger car derailed,” the state-owned Trenes Argentinos (TA) railway company said in a statement.

The impact “was very strong,” a passenger in the last car told the TN news channel. “One person was thrown against the door, many people were thrown to the ground.”

“It is a miracle we are alive,” cried another passenger, as he leaned out of the window filming the accident, in images broadcast on several stations.

Transport Minister Franco Mogetta said there were “multiple hypotheses” about what had happened, including if something had gone wrong with the signaling system.

He mentioned complaints of “cable theft” amid a sharp rise in the pilfering of copper cables and those made of other metals, in a country where year-on-year inflation stands at almost 290 percent and 42 percent of the population lives in poverty.

The leader of the train drivers’ union, Omar Maturano, slammed the “de-financing” of Trenes Argentinos under budget-slashing President Javier Milei’s government. 

“There are thefts of signaling cables. We have been asking for repairs for 10 days, but there are no spare parts for the signaling, or for the trains. We are told that there is no budget.”

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