Photo: Central Amerian Migrant Train
At least five people, including a Honduran migrant, were killed and 35 others injured when the freight train known as “La Bestia” derailed Sunday in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco, officials said.
The death toll could rise because rescue workers have still not reached all of the people aboard the train and 16 of the injured are listed in serious condition, national emergency management chief Luis Felipe Puente told Mexican media.
“In the course of removing the structure of the train, which was loaded with scrap metal, more bodies could be found,” Tabasco emergency management chief Cesar Burelo said.
Central American migrants headed for the United States often ride on “La Bestia,” or “The Beast.”
The freight train derailed around 3:00 a.m. Sunday outside Huimanguillo, a city near Tabasco’s border with Veracruz state.
The train went off the tracks close to the community of La Tembladera, officials said.
“Of the 12 cars being hauled by the engine, eight flipped over in the community located between Francisco Rueda and Las Choapas,” the Tabasco emergency management office said in a statement.
An estimated 300,000 Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.
Central American migrants follow a long route that first takes them into Chiapas state, which is on the border with Guatemala, walking part of the way or riding aboard freight trains, buses and cargo trucks.