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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 07:42 GMT
LA suicide crash 'spawns copycat'
Firemen at the scene of the crash on Wednesday
Wednesday's crash killed 11 and injured some 200
A second California man has been arrested on suspicion of trying to kill himself by causing a train crash like Wednesday's incident in which 11 died.

Tigran Kashkarian, 25, allegedly parked his car on railway tracks but later drove off and was arrested after a car chase near Los Angeles, police said.

Juan Manuel Alvarez has been charged with murder after he left his car on the rails before Wednesday's crash.

Mr Alvarez, 25, could face the death penalty if convicted.

Mr Alvarez abandoned his apparent suicide attempt and left his car as the train approached, according to police.

'Slow speed' pursuit

Mr Kashkarian's bid was a copycat act, police say.

They say they were told about a four-wheel drive vehicle that was parked diagonally across the tracks in Irvine.

Police say they tried to negotiate with Mr Kashkarian, but he drove off, starting a "slow speed" pursuit.

Mr Kashkarian agreed to give himself up after a 30-minute discussion with officers on his mobile phone, a police spokesman told NBC news.

Police say he told them he had planned to commit suicide by being hit by a train.

Mr Kashkarian is currently being held in a local jail.


Some 200 people were injured, 40 of them critically, in Wednesday's crash involving three trains in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale.

Juan Alvarez
Alvarez is being held under suicide watch in a local hospital

Prosecutors have filed 11 charges of murder against Mr Alvarez.

Reports of the detainee's suicidal intentions left prosecutor Steve Cooley unmoved, correspondents say.

"He's not going to engage my sympathy because he was despondent," he told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Alvarez - who was not injured - is being held under a suicide watch in the prison ward of a local hospital.

Shortly before parking his car on the tracks, he apparently slashed his wrists and stabbed himself in the chest.

The crash involved two double-decker Metrolink commuter trains one heading south into LA Union Station, the other heading out.
Rear-powered train 100 hit a car parked on the tracks.
It then struck a stationary goods train parked overnight and jackknifed to hit front-pulled train 901.

Murder charges over LA rail crash
27 Jan 05 |  Americas
'Suicide bid' caused rail crash
27 Jan 05 |  Americas
Timeline: US train accidents
26 Jan 05 |  Americas

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