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Officials: theft caused fatal Mexico derailment

Friday - 8/30/2013, 9:38pm  ET

In this image released by Mexico's National Immigration Institute (INM), an IMN officer watches as a casket, containing the remains of a migrant who died in Sunday's train derailment, is loaded onto a federal police aircraft to be repatriated back to Honduras, at the airport in Mexico City, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. Many who had sneaked onto the roof of the train known as "The Beast" were thrown loose when eight of its 12 cars derailed as it hauled tons of metal junk through a remote, swampy stretch of southern Mexico, witnesses said. Some of the dead were trapped because they had tied themselves to the train to avoid slipping as they rode between cars. A government official announced on Aug. 27 that three more bodies have been found under the wreckage of the train, raising the death toll to nine. (AP Photo/INM)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Officials have determined that the theft of some parts from a southern Mexico train track caused a derailment that killed 11 Central American migrants.

The Communications and Transportation Department said Friday that the theft of a metal bar used to join rails and its screws were the "decisive cause" behind the accident Sunday in a remote region of Tabasco state. The rail company's technicians carried out the investigation.

The rails were not aligned, causing eight of 12 train cars to leave the tracks and flip over. Authorities initially said six Honduran migrants died, but rescue crews found five more victims this week while removing the wrecked railcars.

Thousands of migrants brave brutal conditions each year as they travel atop train cars on their way to the United States.

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