Trains collide in Rio de Janeiro suburb |

Trains collide in Rio de Janeiro suburb

Associated Press Writer

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – A fast-moving train carrying hundreds of commuters slammed into an empty train near Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, killing at least eight people and injuring 60, officials said.The collision about 200 years from a train station on Rio’s poor north side left some people trapped in wreckage.”We have to use blowtorches to open the sides of the train cars to reach the people,” said Pedro Machado, commander-general of the Rio de Janeiro Fire Department.Up to 850 people were aboard the commuter train when it crashed into the rear end of an empty train, which was being moved from one track to another, firefighters and train company officials said.Machado said in a televised interview that eight people were killed and about 60 injured. “But now we’re positive that there are no more fatal victims.”Trains are widely used to commute to downtown Rio from the city’s poor northern outskirts.”Our priority is to give support to the survivors, the passengers trapped in the wreckage, and reduce the number of fatal victims,” Col. Souza Filho, the head of Rio de Janeiro’s Civil Defense Department, said in an interview with the Globo TV network.Joao Gouveia, the operational director of the Supervia company that runs the train, denied reports that the engineers were among the victims.”The two did not die,” he said. “One was injured and the other was not hurt.”Marcos de Souza, director of the Posse Hospital in Nova Iguacu, said more than 20 people were taken to the hospital for treatment.”They had fractures in their arms, their faces, everywhere,” he said in a televised interview. He said the hospital had a large emergency ward but was bringing in extra personnel to treat victims.

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