Officials have declared a train crash in Argentina to be the worst the country has witnessed in four decades. The incident occurred when a train travelling through Once station in Buenos Aires hit the platform. The current death toll is 49 and at least 600 were injured. However officials believe the number of deaths could rise.

The crash happened during a peak travelling time and survivors say that the train was full of people including children and the elderly. Secretary for transportation, JP Schiavi, said it was assumed that there had been a problem with the brakes. Although many people had to wait for hours to be rescued, it is thought that everyone involved has been removed from the wreckage.

Argentina will observe two days of mourning according to the government and festival activities around the country are to be cancelled. This latest incident is likely to add fuel to the argument that Argentina’s rail systems are antiquated and suffering from a lack of investment and maintenance.

The country’s train workers’ union spokesman, Edgardo Reinoso, blamed a lack of control by the state agencies and said that the Once station crash was the responsibility of a firm which has been accused of poor maintenance in the past.

In September last year a Buenos Aires commuter train slammed into a bus at a crossing and then into another train resulting in the deaths of 11 people. The rail system in Buenos Aires is the busiest in South America, carrying some 400 million people every year.