At least 99 hurt in Buenos Aires train accident

At least 99 hurt in Buenos Aires train accident

BUENOS AIRES - At least 99 people were hurt on Saturday, some seriously, in a train crash at the same Buenos Aires commuter rail stop where a deadly accident killed dozens just last year, officials said.

"Ninety-nine patients have been treated at Buenos Aires hospitals due to the accident," said local health chief Graciela Reybaud.

Security chief Sergio Berni told local television that "there are no fatalities for now" at the Once train station in Buenos Aires, the same station where 51 people died and 700 were injured in February 2012, when a train slammed into a retaining wall.

Railway officials said Saturday's accident occurred at 7.25am (6.25pm, Singapore time).

Officials said they could not immediately determine the cause of the accident, but at least one witness reported that the train appeared to have trouble braking at two previous stops.

Injured riders were rushed to about a dozen nearby hospitals via some 30 ambulances and two helicopters.

Television footage showed various railway cars that had left the track and were on the platform after the train apparently failed to stop at the end of the line.

Passengers who emerged from the wrecked train cars described a chaotic scene of people being thrown to the floor when the train made impact.

Many passengers were trapped onboard until they could be rescued by firefighters.

The driver on Saturday's train is 45 and highly experienced, according to his union, which said he was detained. He was injured but not seriously, it said.

One witness said shaken passengers became enraged and accosted the motorman.

"People were shouting 'murderer' at him," said a man by the name of Julio who said he was a passenger in the third car.

The train seemed as if it "was having trouble braking for two stations" prior to its arrival at the Once station, Mr Julio said, adding that his fellow passengers "were getting nervous, as they remembered" last year's disaster at the same train station.

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