May 22, 2019

Argentina commuters burn trains to protest delays

Now don't be like that. Burning trains is not going to make them go any faster.

Train passengers in Argentina furious about delays to their journeys have snapped and set fire to three commuter trains near Buenos Aires.

Firefighters and police were called in to deal with major disturbances at three railway stations.

The trouble started during the Monday morning rush hour as suburban office workers embarked on their daily commute to the capital city, Buenos Aires.

A derailed train caused severe delays along the busy rail link.

Passengers, frustrated at being stranded then set fire to at least eight wagons at three railway stations along the railway line.

The unrest quickly spread from the Haedo stop to the neighbouring stations of Ramos Mejia and Cuidadela.

In one incident angry commuters threw the train driver and the ticket inspector off the train.

Ticket offices belonging to at least one station were ransacked and vending machines were vandalised.

Firefighters complained that the angry passengers were trying to obstruct their work when they arrived at the scene.

Witnesses said the fire brigade was pelted with large stones.

Trenes de Buenos Aires, which operates the train service, suspects the unrest was a deliberate act of industrial sabotage against the firm.

Spokesman Gustavo Gago said “The near-simultaneous nature of the fires was striking.”

“The fact that security cameras were damaged at all three stations makes one think it was something organised and intentional,” he said.

Police have arrested three passengers.

Despite Trenes de Buenos Aires conspiracy theories about an orchestrated arson attack, newswarped knows that we commuters are quite capable of acts of spontaneous frustration. Especially when we keep getting fed the same excuses about delays, day after day.

Commuters the world over will have some sympathy for their brothers and sisters in Argentina. After months of being fed PR bullshit about delays, it is totally understandable that someone snapped and the ‘mob’ in all of us took over.

Of course while it might have felt good to take direct action. Now Trenes de Buenos Aires now have a thoroughly legitimate excuse to announce delays. There are not enough carriages.