Mexico migrant train derails – six killed

Mexican rescue workers carry one of the injured from the overturned cargo train in the state of Tabasco on August 25, 2013.

A freight train carrying Central American migrants has derailed in a remote area of southeastern Mexico, killing at least six people and injuring many others.

The train, which was traveling from Guatemala to the north of Mexico, swayed off the track near a river in the state of Tabasco on Sunday, causing eight of its 12 cars to overturn.

In addition to transporting scrap metal, the train also carried some 250 migrants who sat atop the cargo cars.

Luis Felipe Peunte, the national civil protection coordinator, said a total of 18 people had been taken by boat to a regional hospital of Las Choapas in the neighboring state of Veracruz.

Authorities said the death toll could rise, as rescuers were still searching from more victims. Tabasco civil protection director Cesar Burelo said cranes would be needed to lift the wagons, which could lead to discoveries of additional fatalities.

The cause of the accident remains unclear, but Mexican media said the train may have been traveling too fast amid heavy rain.

The freight train, known as Å“The Beast”, carries migrants who pay smugglers up to USD 100 to travel from stations near Guatemala to the north of Mexico.

According to civil society organizations, every year some estimated 400,000 undocumented migrants cross the southern border into Mexico by various means.

Traffickers charge large sums of money to help the migrants enter Mexico and once they have arrived criminal groups extort them for even more money.

In addition, the migrants are often robbed, raped and killed by gangs.

Official figures show that about 10,000 migrants are reported missing in Mexico every year.

In the beginning of August, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to strengthen security at the countryâ„¢s southern border, where drug cartels and migrants cross without police interference.

However, experts believe the government will not succeed, saying the over 1,000-kilometer (700-mile) long border is essentially untamable.

CAH/HSN

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Republished from: Press TV