ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) _ A passenger train derailed near the southeastern town of Felix Peres Cardozo early today, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 50, police said.

The train was en route from the city of Encarnacion near the Argentina border to Asuncion when the accident occurred at 1:15 a.m.

About 200 passengers were aboard, police said.

Police said the train's steam locomotive apparently lost two wheels and veered off the tracks about 87 miles from its destination.

Police said preliminary reports indicated all the dead and injured were Paraguayans, mostly farmers who had been riding in the first two cars, both second class coaches.

First class coaches, including several carrying passengers from Argentina, were not damaged, officials said.