At least 600 people were injured Wednesday morning when a train crashed and derailed at one of the three busiest stations in Buenos Aires, Argentine officials said.
At first it was reported that “We have 340 injured and people trapped in the cars, and there could also be some fatalities,” Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said. More current reports believe that at least 600 were injured.
The 33 hospitals in Buenos Aires are on alert to treat the injured, some of whom were seriously hurt in the accident, Schiavi said.
The accident happened when a train packed with passengers was unable to stop on arrival at station 11 and hit the shock absorbers at the end of the platform, eyewitnesses said.
The train was traveling at “26 kilometers per hour (16 mph) and apparently experienced some type of failure in the brake system,” the transportation secretary said.
“Everything is on video, which will facilitate the investigation,” Schiavi said.
The transportation secretary traveled to the accident scene with Buenos Aires Security Minister Guillermo Montenegro to get a firsthand look at the situation.
“The train was full of people and the impact was tremendous. We don’t know what happened,” a passenger told Argentine television.
Dozens of ambulances and fire trucks responded to the accident, with emergency workers pulling people out of the shattered train cars.
Emergency workers needed more than 30 minutes to pull the engineer out of the locomotive.