Sabotage Intended For Other Train Blamed In Crash Involving Jersey Mayor
CUZCO, Peru (AP) _ A metal rod probably intended to sabotage a passenger train instead knocked another train carrying Jersey City’s mayor off the tracks and sent it tumbling down a ravine, officials said.
The mayor’s wife and the wife of Cuzco’s mayor were killed in the crash, which occurred Thursday during an outing to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, high in the Andes.
Jacinto Laguna, an employee of the state-owned railroad Enafer, told The Associated Press on Friday that railroad officials found a piece of metal wedged into the track.
Laguna said the rod caused the railway car, a small bus modified to travel on tracks, to jump the track at a curve and plunge into the 200-foot deep ravine.
Killed were Anna Cucci, about 60, the wife of Jersey City Mayor Anthony Cucci, and Doris Chacon, 58, wife of Cuzco Mayor Carlos Chacon.
The politicians were injured. Cucci, 66, was reported in stable condition at a hospital. Chacon was reported in serious condition.
Police officials said they believe the sabotage was intended for a regular passenger train carrying 300 passengers that was behind the tourist car. The vehicle carrying the politicians and their wives was making an unscheduled run.
Police said they had detained one person. They were investigating a group of railroad workers who were involved in a nationwide general strike Thursday. Family members said Chacon suffered internal bleeding and at least 18 fractures to his pelvis and spinal column.
The bodies of Mrs. Cucci and Mrs. Chacon were lying in state in a Cuzco municipal building. Doctors said the women appeared to have died from skull fractures.
The Cuccis were visiting to celebrate a sister city agreement between Jersey City and Cuzco. Cuzco is a tourist area about 355 miles southeast of Lima.
Six other people were on the vehicle but did not suffer serious injuries.