With fifty fatalities, over six hundred injured and at the time of writing, the recent re-emergence of two of the three unaccounted for passengers more than 48 hours after the accident, the crashing of the Sarmiento train at Once station in Buenos Aires is the worst train accident in Argentina since the 1979 head on collision of two trains near Benavidez station when over 140 people lost their lives.
The dramatic and distressing images of carnage and trapped passengers that were broadcast live over Argentine television were sometimes hard to watch as the severity of the incident became more and more paramount with the increasing numbers of official dead.
The Sarmiento train is the one that I use most weekends in Buenos Aires to visit my wife’s family who live in Moreno and we have many friends who use the service to commute to Capital for work. We therefore spent a number of hours confirming that no one with whom we were acquainted was involved in the accident. But as my wife’s sister said on her Facebook page shortly afterwards, ‘it could have been any of us who use the Sarmiento on that train. May this serve once and for all to end the negligence.’