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Rush-hour Moscow subway derails: 21 dead, 136 hurt

Derailed Moscow Subway Leaves More Than 20 Dead And Hundreds Injured


By VITNIJA SALDAVA & NATALIYA VASILYEVA

MOSCOW (AP) -- A subway train derailed Tuesday deep below Moscow's streets, twisting and mangling crowded rail cars at the height of the morning rush hour. At least 21 people were killed, Russian officials said, and 136 more were hospitalized, many with serious injuries.

The Russian capital's airports and transit systems have been a prime target for terrorists over the past two decades, but multiple officials vigorously dismissed terrorism as a possible cause.

The Moscow Metro is world-famous for its palatial interiors with mosaics, chandeliers and marble benches. Park Pobedy, where the derailment occurred, is Moscow's deepest metro station - 84 meters (275 feet) below the surface - which made the rescue particularly difficult. The station serves the vast park where Russia's World War II museum is located.

It was unclear what caused the train to derail. Lines of inquiry included a fault in one of the cars or the sinking of the roadbed, according to Vladimir Markin, spokesman for Russia's top investigative body. He said other officials who said earlier that a power surge triggered an alarm, causing the train to stop abruptly, were incorrect.

Of the 136 people hospitalized, at least 42 were in grave condition, health officials said. One citizen of China and one citizen of Tajikistan were among those killed, Russian news agencies quoted city officials as saying.

Over 1,100 people were evacuated from the train, which was stuck between two stations, in a rescue operation that lasted at least 12 hours.

By evening, rescuers had recovered all but two of the bodies trapped in the wrecked train cars, said Yury Akimov, deputy chief of Moscow's emergency services. One woman taken from the scene died at a Moscow hospital.

In video released by the Emergency Situations Ministry, several wrecked train cars looked almost coiled, occupying the entire width of the tunnel. Workers were trying to force open the mangled doors of one car to retrieve bodies. Photos posted on social media sites showed passengers walking along the tracks in the dimly lit tunnel.

Russian officials rushed to open an investigation into the accident. President Vladimir Putin, who is traveling in Brazil, demanded a detailed investigation into the "reasons for the event" and asked the country's top investigators to open a criminal case, his spokesman told Russian news agencies.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also told reporters that unnamed officials will not only be fired but also charged with crimes, though he would not say what charges they might face. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered his condolences for the victims and their families.

Dozens of injured people were carried out of the station on stretchers. Paramedics carried one woman covered with a blanket to the lawn by the Triumphal Arch, which commemorates Russia's victory over Napoleon, and put her on a helicopter ambulance.

Several survivors sat on the sidewalk near the station's entrance in an apparent state of shock, drinking water supplied by authorities on a hot summer day.

Witnesses told Rossiya 24 television that they felt a sharp impact that knocked them off their feet and hurled them across the train cars.

"Everybody spun to one side," said one witness. "There was a sharp brake, and smoke was in the air. People couldn't leave for a long time. The way was blocked."

While technical glitches are regular occurrences in the Moscow Metro, the subway hasn't seen deadly accidents in decades.

Terrorism is another matter. More than 100 people have been killed in bombings on Moscow's subway trains or near stations since 2000, including two bomb blasts on the same day in 2010 that killed a total of 40 people.

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Mike July 15 2014 at 6:55 AM

Too bad Putin wasn't on the train.

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5 replies
dal July 15 2014 at 4:16 PM

What a nightmare, I can't imagine the impact of a train jumping track inside a closed place like a tunnel, let's hope no more die and the injured recover fully and the friends and families of the dead find solace in the time and love they got to share here on earth.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Joan July 15 2014 at 3:36 PM

A horrific accident. Condolences to the families of those lost and thoughts for those who are injured. Now, is not the time to bring politics and ha*e into such a sad story. Sad that the mindset of so many, fail themselves.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jurmik July 15 2014 at 4:41 PM

Notes of condolences are coming in from the world, ugly, ignorant notes from USA. How very uncivilized.

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BRUCE July 15 2014 at 4:07 PM

So sad for those families involved...but not nearly as sad as the heartless and uncaring condition of our youth making such jackass comments.

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crystalblue.judy July 15 2014 at 3:55 PM

I have to wonder why cops at the border of Tucson az are sticking their arms in gas tanks to remove drug dealer packages and the cops are not wearing protective respirators or suits an you can bet the drug dealers word PPE now this when they make the cops kill themselves and where the hell fort lewis you dinnot see this com on an the gas is tainted with infected blood and jet fuel hello?

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1 reply
brukr2 crystalblue.judy July 15 2014 at 4:18 PM

?????

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gghinmass July 15 2014 at 3:52 PM

Our thought are with the people of Moscow. Boston shares your sorrow.
God Bless

Flag Reply +1 rate up
crystalblue.judy July 15 2014 at 3:41 PM

even girly mechanic know you dont stick your arm in gas and not wear proper ppe? Who is that retarded?
cops running good show they even showed that on tv crossed and checked

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
micxaeli crystalblue.judy July 15 2014 at 3:56 PM

Crystal; you've proved by your lack of literary skills you know a lot about being retarded.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
crystalblue.judy July 15 2014 at 3:39 PM

Now this is when they are executing police down at the tucson border by sticking their arms in tainted gas to remove packaged drugs out the gas tanks do you think the drug dealers wore proper ppe? sorely they did and I cant believe whose posta be pro tac in us? com on that gas is also tainted with infected blood is there any commander out there cant believe its that retarded.

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Odens Fist July 15 2014 at 1:06 PM

Russia is full of inept, uneducated, under-qualified, Vodka soaked morons. These things are a daily happening over there. Watch Russian drivers are crazy on youtube..

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2 replies
ganderrrr Odens Fist July 15 2014 at 3:31 PM

Funny how American train accidents are far more common. Sometimes sleeplessness, sometimes texting while engineering.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
BRUCE Odens Fist July 15 2014 at 4:06 PM

Hmmm..pretty much like yourself I suppose..got to be to make such an asnine comment.

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