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Angry commuters set fire to Rio train

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 7, 2009 (AFP) - Angry commuters set fire to a train during rush hour Wednesday in frustration over a breakdown in service on a commuter line in northern Rio, a senior railway official said.

Images aired on Globo television showed a fire raging in two train cars as riot police, helicopters and firefighters descended on the scene to control the situation.

Commuters spilled onto the train tracks in anger and frustration after a breakdown backed up commuter trains serving the Baixada Fluminense area in the northern part of the city.

Joao Gouveia, the railway's operations director, told Globo that passengers set the fire in one of the trains after service on the line was interrupted at 7:40 am at the peak of the rush hour.

The line services 120,000 people.

The incident, which came just days after Rio was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games, highlighted the daunting public transportation problems facing the city.

©2009 AFP All rights reserved.

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