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Commuter Train Crash Kills Dozens In Argentina, Passengers Still Trapped

Firemen rescue wounded passengers from a commuter train after it crashed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. i

Firemen rescue wounded passengers from a commuter train after it crashed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. Anibal Greco/AP hide caption

toggle caption Anibal Greco/AP
Firemen rescue wounded passengers from a commuter train after it crashed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012.

Firemen rescue wounded passengers from a commuter train after it crashed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012.

Anibal Greco/AP

A commuter train carrying people into downtown Buenos Aires collided with a retaining wall during morning rush hour, killing at least 49 people riding in carriages and waiting on the platform. As many as 600 people are hurt and firefighters are still trying to cut through wreckage to reach trapped people, says Telam, Argentina's national news agency.

J.P. Schiavi, Argentina's transportation secretary, told Telam he suspects the brakes are at fault. The Los Angeles Times cites speculation from members of a rail workers' union who blame aging or unreliable equipment.

Reuters notes that millions of people use commuter trains each month, which are privately owned and subsidized by the Argentinian government, but need maintenance work and are overcrowded.

Most of the victims were in the first and second cars, and Schiavi told reporters the train came into the station too quickly, the engine plowed into the barrier at the end of the platform and the carriages pancaked behind it, according to AP.

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