Pictures

At least 99 hurt in Buenos Aires train accident

Police block the entrance of Once station after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police block the entrance of Once station after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police officers are seen at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires after a commuter train apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Police officers are seen at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires after a commuter train apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Police officers block access to Once Train station after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving to the station early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police officers block access to Once Train station after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving to the station early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police and firemen work on a commuter train that slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once central station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police and firemen work on a commuter train that slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once central station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police officers and paramedics inspects the debris of a commuter train that slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once central station early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police officers and paramedics inspects the debris of a commuter train that slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once central station early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Rescue workers (in orange suit) are seen at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires after a commuter train (second right) apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Rescue workers (in orange suit) are seen at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires after a commuter train (second right) apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
An injured man is evacuated after a commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
An injured man is evacuated after a commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Firefighters inspect a commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Firefighters inspect a commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Picture released by NA showing a firefighter inspecting the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Picture released by NA showing a firefighter inspecting the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Picture released by NA showing firefighters inspecting the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Picture released by NA showing firefighters inspecting the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Police and paramedics carry a wounded passenger to an ambulance after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once Central station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, early Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Police and paramedics carry a wounded passenger to an ambulance after a commuter train slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once Central station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, early Saturday, Oct 19, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Picture released by NA showing the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. At least 99 people were hurt on Saturday, some seriously, in a train cr
Picture released by NA showing the commuter train that apparently failed to stop and crashed at the end of the line at the Once railway terminal in Buenos Aires, on Oct 19, 2013. At least 99 people were hurt on Saturday, some seriously, in a train crash at the same Buenos Aires commuter rail stop where a deadly accident killed dozens just last year, officials said. -- PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - At least 99 people were hurt on Saturday, some seriously, in a train crash at the same Buenos Aires commuter rail stop where a deadly accident killed dozens just last year, officials said.

"Ninety-nine patients have been treated at Buenos Aires hospitals due to the accident," said local health chief Graciela Reybaud.

Security chief Sergio Berni told local television that "there are no fatalities for now" at the Once train station in Buenos Aires, the same station where 51 people died and 700 were injured in February 2012, when a train slammed into a retaining wall.

Railway officials said Saturday's accident occurred at 7.25am (6.25pm, Singapore time).

Officials said they could not immediately determine the cause of the accident, but at least one witness reported that the train appeared to have trouble braking at two previous stops.

Injured riders were rushed to about a dozen nearby hospitals via some 30 ambulances and two helicopters.

Television footage showed various railway cars that had left the track and were on the platform after the train apparently failed to stop at the end of the line.

Passengers who emerged from the wrecked train cars described a chaotic scene of people being thrown to the floor when the train made impact.

Many passengers were trapped onboard until they could be rescued by firefighters.

The driver on Saturday's train is 45 and highly experienced, according to his union, which said he was detained. He was injured but not seriously, it said.

One witness said shaken passengers became enraged and accosted the motorman.

"People were shouting 'murderer' at him," said a man by the name of Julio who said he was a passenger in the third car.

The train seemed as if it "was having trouble braking for two stations" prior to its arrival at the Once station, Mr Julio said, adding that his fellow passengers "were getting nervous, as they remembered" last year's disaster at the same train station.

Buenos Aires has been plagued by rail accidents in recent years.

In addition to last February's deadly collision, there have been numerous other incidents, including a serious collision in June of this year, when a speeding commuter train slammed into another train that had stopped between stations, killing three people and injuring more than 300.

Authorities said it was fortunate that, unlike the earlier major mishaps, Saturday's crash did not happen on a busy weekday, and that the train was only partially full.

Argentina has tried to ramp up oversight of its problem-plagued train system since last year's deadly train collision.

And, after June's deadly collision, officials put surveillance cameras in conductors' cabs. Worn out, decades-old cars were supposed to be replaced with shiny new Chinese-made ones.

The increased surveillance has already revealed some acts of negligence by railway personnel, officials said in July.

Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo said video images taken from the surveillance cameras showed drivers nodding off, on the phone or reading, sometimes with their hands off the controls altogether.

A driver seen struggling to keep his eyes open "has already been relieved of his duties," Mr Randazzo said.

"He was driving a train with a thousand passengers," the transport minister said.