Two dead, 44 injured as gas tanker hits train
icWales: Aug 12 2005
At least two people died and 44 were injured when a tanker carrying liquid propane gas struck the side of a freight train near Mexico's border with the US.
The resulting explosions yesterday reduced cement homes near the tracks in the town of Lucio Blanco to little more than piles of charred rubble, and corrugated metal roofing collapsed into some of the structures.
"It was like an earthquake," said Jorge Batres, who described the crash site as looking like a battlefield.
"All is destroyed."
Orlando Garcia, director of Matamoros' emergency services, said the driver of the truck and the train's engineer died.
It took several hours to pull all the survivors to freedom. Garcia said the worst of the injured were taken to hospitals in Monterrey, and others were taken to hospitals in Matamoros and across the border to Harlingen, Texas.
Water trucks lined up to ferry water from a hydrant near the Los Indios International Bridge, about four miles from the accident site.
Teresa Guerrero said her sister, Nancy, was working at a nearby gas station when a fireball erupted. Her sister tried to flee, but she was burned on her arms, feet, back and hair.
Mexican rescue worker Carlos Mireles said the injured included residents in the area and people from passing vehicles.
Tom Hushen, emergency management co-ordinator for Cameron County, Texas, said the collision occurred near the middle of the train. He said he did not know how many carriages left the track.
A nursing supervisor at Harlingen, Texas, Medical Centre said a 27-year-old woman from San Benito, Texas, and her baby daughter were in a stable condition.
The supervisor said the woman and four-month-old girl were across the street from the railway tracks when the accident happened.