Argentina Audits Trains After Crash Killed 51

March 1, 2012

Argentina’s government announced Tuesday it is sending government auditors to monitor the commuter rail company whose train crashed last week, killing 51 people and injuring 703.

The auditors are supposed to oversee every aspect of the Trains of Buenos Aires, opening the books and checking the machines to guarantee the security of passengers and the continuity of service.

The transportation and planning ministers said that the intervention will last at least 15 days, or however long it takes for a criminal investigation to determine responsibility for the crash.

President Cristina Fernandez has said she will wait until the cause is known before deciding whether to end the TBA’s contract.

The motorman, Marcos Cordoba, has testified that the brakes failed before the train smashed into a barrier at the end of the line, crumpling cars with hundreds of passengers inside. But recordings of his conversation show he made no complaints about the system. He was also found with trace amounts of alcohol in his system, and investigators are looking into whether he might have fallen asleep.

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