Palermo train crash and derailment leaves 60 injured

Two patients were transported to hospital by helicopter and 90 received care at the scene

At least 60 people were injured on Friday when a seven-car passenger train collided with a locomotive and a work train car in Buenos Aires, local authorities said.

Transport secretary Franco Mogetta told press that 30 people were in critical condition. There had been no confirmed fatalities at the time of writing. A signal failure and cable theft are among the possible causes, he added.

Firefighters, police and ambulances were at the scene, helping evacuate people and take the injured to hospitals.

Television and drone footage showed the trains head-to-head on a railway bridge at the intersection of Figueroa Alcorta and Dorrego in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The passenger train’s first car derailed and was damaged in the collision, although it remained upright.

First responders covered the injured in foil blankets and strapped them to stretchers to carry them down the steep railway embankment. Below, the avenues were lined with rows of ambulances. The most seriously injured were taken to hospital by helicopter.

Emergency services system SAME confirmed that 60 ambulances were dispatched, 90 people received care at the scene of the accident, and 55 patients were taken to hospital. Two passengers were taken by helicopter to the Santojanni hospital with head and thorax trauma, Alberto Crescenti, head of SAME, told Reuters news agency. “They were lucid but as a precaution they were the first to be flown.”

State-run train operator Trenes Argentinos said the crash happened at 10:31 a.m. and an investigation into the cause of the accident would be opened. Services on the San Martin train line were halted, it added.

The passenger train was traveling from Retiro station, in central Buenos Aires, to Pilar, in Buenos Aires Province. The empty train contained materials and equipment to carry out works. 

“I would like to acknowledge our teams for their fast action and for their vocation,” posted Buenos Aires mayor Jorge Macri on X.

-Reuters/Herald/Ambito

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