Buenos Aires: At least seven people were killed in a rush-hour crash Tuesday involving two passenger trains and a bus whose driver drove around barriers in an attempt to beat them across the tracks, Argentine authorities said.
Police said 162 people were injured, many seriously, and they're being treated at hospitals around Buenos Aires.
Argentine Transportation Secretary JP Schiavi said the bus driver was among those killed.
The bus was hit by an oncoming train as it tried to cross the tracks and was crushed into the nearby platform. That train then flew off the tracks and hit another.
Schiavi said children were among those injured in the crashes, which happened at 6:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. EDT; 0915 GMT) next to the Flores station, just when many parents use public transportation to take their children to school.
Schiavi said the barriers appeared to be functioning normally, but reporters at the scene challenged that, saying some witnesses had reported that one of the barriers had descended only part-way down, leaving room for the bus to try to drive across the tracks despite the warning bells. Schiavi said investigators were studying videotape of the accident to determine exactly what happened.
The force of the arriving train reduced the bus to a fraction of its width as it became wedged against the station platform. The front of the train then slammed into another train that was just preparing to leave the station in the opposite direction.
Helicopters helped carry the injured to at least seven hospitals around the Argentine capital.
First Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 23:14