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Sunday, 29 November 2009

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Twenty-five dead, in Russia train crash

At least 25 people were killed and 87 injured Friday when a train travelling between the Russian capital Moscow and Saint Petersburg derailed, possibly as a result of an attack, Russian media reported.

Russian television showed footage of the mangled wreckage of four overturned wagons of the Nevski Express, which officials said came off the tracks late on Friday evening in the Novgorod region.“Twenty-five people were killed and 87 injured” Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.A unnamed security official was quoted by the Interfax as saying that a one metre-diametre (three-foot wide) crater was found near the scene of the disaster.“Witnesses say they heard a loud bang before the accident. This could be proof of an attack,” the source said.The crater could have been caused by an “explosion from a device placed underneath one of the wagons,” Ria-Novosti quoted another security official as saying.A railways official also told Itar-Tass that “an attack is one of the possibilities” being looked at by the police.“That version must be carefully studied by law enforcement authorities,” Alexander Pirkov, an advisor to the president of the Russian railway company, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Four wagons of the 14-carriage train, carrying around 660 passengers, derailed at 9:34 pm (1834 GMT), according to the emergencies ministry.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of the crash, and by 0100 GMT all the injured had been evacuated to local hospitals, Russia media reported.Several medical teams and a mobile hospital were also dispatched to the area.Rescue work continued through the night, with fears four to six people might still be trapped underneath the wreckage of the overturned wagons, said Itar-Tass.“Two wagons were completely overturned ... Several people were completely crushed under the metal. I heard screams, moaning,” said, Andrei Abramenko, a police officer who happened to be travelling on the train, on Vesti 24 television.

 -AFP

 

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