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Argentina Train Crash Claims 49, Injures 600

Argentina Train Crash Claims 49, Injures 600

A commuter train loaded with passengers in Argentina slammed into the station it was entering killing 49 people and injuring hundreds more.

The official cause of the crash has not yet been determined but transportation officials from Buenos Aires stated that the train could not stop as it entered the station.

"The train entered the Once station at 26 kilometers per hour (16 mph)... we suppose there was some flaw in the brakes," Transport Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said, according to AP.

More than 600 people have been injured and emergency crews were still slowly removing dozens of passengers that were still trapped inside the mangled train cars, according to Alberto Crescenti, the city's emergency medical director.

This accident highlights the need to examine and improve the infrastructure and maintenance of trains that millions of people depend on, officials stated.

"This machine left the shop yesterday and the brakes worked well. From what we know, it braked without problems at previous stations. At this point I don't want to speculate about the causes," Ruben Sobrero, train workers' union chief on the Sarmiento line, told Radio La Red.

Argentina's transportation system which includes the countries train system is largely dependent on government investment. The train system, which is mainly held by private companies, still depends heavily on large state subsidies.

Hundreds of thousands of people travel into Argentina's capital from surrounding areas on a daily basis. There are numerous reports that give an account of the state of the trains and railway systems. They describe perpetual problems highlighted by delays and accidents.

This accident is just another incident in a long line of related occurrences. Last Sept. two commuter trains crashed into a city bus which killed 11 people. One year ago, four people died during another train accident.

But this accident is the deadliest in Argentina since a train smashed into another outside of Buenos Aires in 1970, killing 200 people.

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