February 27, 2006

Ten injured in 3-train crash in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Two commuter trains and
a cargo train collided in Buenos Aires on Monday, injuring at
least 10 people, police and train company officials said.

The driver of one of the passenger trains was seriously
injured after being trapped in the twisted metal, Gustavo Gago,
a spokesman for the TBA commuter train company, told reporters.

There were no deaths reported.

A Reuters witness said two thunderous crashes were heard in
the upscale district of Palermo at about 9:40 pm (7:40 EST/0040
GMT) when the trains hit each other.

Dozens of passenger, many on their way home from work,
walked away dazed from the scene, tending to bloody noses or
minor cuts.

"The train was about half full. We were lucky that none of
the passengers were standing up," said Guillermo, a businessman
on his way home from work, wiping a bloody nose.

"We must have been traveling at about 60 kilometers (37.28
miles) per hour," he said. A police officer confirmed the
estimated speed of the train.

The crash was caused by two derailed cars from a cargo
train that fell across the tracks, police said. A passenger
train heading from downtown Buenos Aires to the suburbs then
slammed head-on into the cargo containers. A third passenger
train traveling in the opposite direction also banged into the
containers but none of its passengers were injured.

Argentine commuters often complain of lax safety standards
on the city's passenger trains, which the government handed
over to private operators in the early 1990s.

In March 2005, about 130 people were injured when a
commuter train slammed into a stopped train just outside the
downtown station.