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Train crash injures 70 in Argentina

By Brian Byrnes, For CNN
  • Locomotive train reportedly collides with passenger train south of Bueno Aires
  • Injured taken to hospitals in nearby towns, Telam news agency says
  • It was the second serious crash for a Ferrobaires train in less than two months

Buenos Aires (CNN) -- A locomotive train collided with a stopped passenger train carrying 250 people early Monday in the town of Monasterio, Argentina, about 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) south of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, injuring 70 passengers, a report said.

The Ferrobaires passenger train left the Atlantic coastal resort town of Mar del Plata at 7:15 Sunday night, destined for the Constitucion train station in Buenos Aires, according to the Telam news agency. At 11:20 p.m., a fire broke out in the engine train, Telam reported. The fire was extinguished without incident but left the train unable to continue the journey, the news agency said. A backup engine train was sent from Buenos Aires to replace it but collided with the stopped train around 1:30 a.m. Monday, causing the injuries, according to Telam.

Jorge Lespade, district chief of Buenos Aires province police, said a communication error between the conductor of the replacement train and the stopped train likely caused the crash, which derailed some of the cabins, Telam reported.

The injured were taken to two hospitals in the nearby towns of Chascomus and Lezama, according to Telam. Many have already been released, although at least eight remain hospitalized, the news agency reported.

Authorities stopped buses traveling on nearby Route 2 and asked them to take the uninjured train passengers to Buenos Aires, the agency said.

It was the second serious crash for a Ferrobaires train in less than two months. On February 16, four people were killed and about 100 injured when two trains collided in San Miguel. Investigators have blamed human error for that deadly crash.

The Ferrobaires train line runs passenger trains throughout the province of Buenos Aires, and is funded and operated by the provincial government.