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Argentine commuter train slams into station, again

Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: A commuter train slammed into the bumper at the end of the line Saturday at the same station in Argentina’s capital where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year. This time, there was no immediate report of deaths, but at least 80 people were injured.

A mob quickly formed, unleashing its fury at the train operators. Passengers chanted “murderer, murderer!” at the injured driver through the shattered cabin window. Officers intervened, and the driver was soon hospitalized under police custody.

Police in riot gear then took control of the station after the crowd broke glass and threw stones in the street outside.

Among the injured, five people had broken bones, but none of the wounds were life-threatening, said Security Secretary Sergio Berni. Some of the injured were hit by shattered window glass, he said.

Berni said the train crashed through the bumper at the end of the line and ended up wedged between the floor and ceiling of the platform. One end of the huge iron hydraulic bumper that protects the end of the line was driven deep into the train car, while the other end was lifted over the platform and jammed into the turnstiles.

Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo said the driver Benitez had registered negative for alcohol during a routine test before his shift.

The newspaper Clarin quoted Randazzo as saying the driver had taken the disc from the security camera that recorded the accident but police later confiscated it from him.

Firefighters, police and medical personnel evacuated the wrecked train, but many passengers didn’t wait, kicking out windows to escape cars whose doors were stuck.


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