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Train collision in Chile kills at least 2 people and injures 9 others

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Train collision in Chile kills at least 2 people and injures 9 others
News

News

Train collision in Chile kills at least 2 people and injures 9 others

2024-06-21 05:13 Last Updated At:05:21

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — At least two rail workers were killed and nine others injured Thursday when a freight train collided head-on with another train on a test run just outside the capital of Chile, a rare fatal crash in the South American country.

Police said they were investigating to determine the cause of the collision, which left the test car sitting fully on top of the freight train. Authorities said they detained the driver of the test train and a railway operator for interrogation on charges of reckless manslaughter.

Photos and video of the scene showed one carriage jackknifed several meters into the air above a badly mangled cargo train. Two dozen emergency vehicles swarmed the tangle of crushed metal as helicopters buzzed overhead in San Bernardo, a district just south of Santiago, the capital. Trains service in Santiago remained suspended Thursday following the crash.

The eight-car freight train was carrying 1,346 tons of copper, Chile's main export, and had some people on board while the other train had 10 workers on board operating a speed test, the state rail company said.

Security camera footage showed both trains traveling at high speed when they slammed into each other. It wasn't immediately clear why the test train hadn't been alerted to the freight train's approach.

“We have to identify what the causes are and take the corresponding measures,” Transportation Minister Juan Carlos Muñoz told The Associated Press.

Authorities identified the two people killed as crew members on the freight train. Another nine people were injured, including four Chinese nationals who were operating the test train. Medical workers said six people remain hospitalized, among them one in intensive care.

Heavy rains have thrashed Chile in recent days, causing floods that have submerged hundreds of houses and displaced thousands of people. The downpour had largely eased in Santiago on Thursday and it didn't seem to have contributed to the collision.

Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

A train sits on top of another after they collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024.(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

A train sits on top of another after they collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024.(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Police inspect two trains that collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Police inspect two trains that collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Police and firefighters inspect two trains that collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Alexandre Plaza)

Police and firefighters inspect two trains that collided in San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Alexandre Plaza)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Relatives of some of the 13 American service members killed during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan appeared on stage at the Republican National Convention Wednesday in an emotional moment that revived one of the low points of President Joe Biden's presidency.

Many of the Gold Star families have criticized Biden for never publicly naming their loved ones. On stage Wednesday, one of the family members named each of the 13 service members, and the crowd echoed back each name as it was read aloud.

“Joe Biden has refused to recognize their sacrifice,” Christy Shamblin, the mother-in-law of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, told the crowd. “Donald Trump knew all of our children’s names. He knew all of their stories.”

The crowd chanted “Never forget!” and “U.S.A.!” as Trump and the entire convention hall stood.

“President Biden cares deeply about our service members, their families, and the immense sacrifices they have made," Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokesperson, said in a statement. "That’s why the President attended the dignified transfer of the 13 brave service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan on August 26, 2021; as well as, of the three who lost their lives in Jordan earlier this year. As he said then and continues to believe now: Our country owes them a great deal of gratitude and a debt that we can never repay, and we will continue to honor their ultimate sacrifice.”

The display on the RNC's third day was an implicit response to Biden's repeated rebukes of Trump and his allegations that the former president doesn't respect veterans. Biden has often brought up a claim by retired Gen. John Kelly, who was Trump’s chief of staff, that Trump referred to slain World War II soldiers as losers and suckers. Trump denies the allegation.

The U.S. service members and 60 Afghans were killed by a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport in August 2021 as the U.S. worked feverishly to evacuate Americans and Afghans who helped the West during two decades of war.

The parents and loved ones of those service members have been in the political spotlight ever since, appearing before congressional hearings and doing news interviews.

Republicans have claimed that Biden’s decision to remove U.S. soldiers after the two-decade war in Afghanistan was a strictly political move. But the agreement for the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan was signed by Trump’s administration in February 2020. The deal called for American troops to be out by May 2021, but Trump left office that January without leaving a plan in place for the actual withdrawal of forces.

Several months before the peace deal with the Taliban was signed in Doha, Qatar, Trump had contemplated inviting the Taliban leadership to Camp David to sign an agreement. Those plans, which were vehemently objected to by senior military officials, were put on hold after a Taliban attack that killed a U.S. soldier.

Criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan resonates with voters across party lines. Former Biden supporters, such as former New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff, have cited the botched withdrawal as one reason why he wants Biden to step aside.

Cooper reported from Phoenix.

Herman Lopez, left, Alicia Lopez, right, and other Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Herman Lopez, left, Alicia Lopez, right, and other Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gold Star Family members Herman Lopez, left, and Alicia Lopez, right, on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gold Star Family members Herman Lopez, left, and Alicia Lopez, right, on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Herman Lopez, left, Alicia Lopez, right, and other Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Herman Lopez, left, Alicia Lopez, right, and other Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Gold Star family members on stage during the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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