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IRKUTSK, January 12 (Itar-Tass) - More than 900 passengers who travelled in three trains on the Trans-Siberian main line are delayed by the accident that occurred on the railroad near Lake Baikal on Saturday. More than 20 cars with coal derailed there. Two railway workers died in the accident.
It occurred at the 5,337th km at the Slyudyanka-Utulik double-track electric-line section of the Irkutsk-Ulan-Ude railroad of the East Siberian Railway at 10:10 local time (05:10 Moscow time). According to the official reports, the derailment was caused by a break of a side frame of a bogie of one of the cars.
Three long-distance passenger trains are delayed because of the accident -- Novosibirsk-Vladivostok Train No. Eight, Novosibirsk-Neryungri Train No. 78 and Moscow-Blagoveshchensk Train No. 350.
Nine hundred and nine passengers, including 14 children, were in the trains. There were no organized groups of children, East Siberian Railway deputy head Alexander Parshchikov told reporters. He assured that all the passengers had drinking water and places for rest at the station of Slyudyanka. Hot meals are offered for those who remain there for more than four hours.
Passengers of the Moscow-Blagoveshchensk train are expected to leave soon for the destination. They will depart from the station of Baikalsk. Passengers will be carried from Slyudyanka to Baikalsk by buses.
Railway workers plan to open one of the tracks for trains in both directions no earlier than at 20:00 local time (15:00 Moscow time). The repair work is complicated by the difficulty to approach the site. There is a cliff on one side, and Lake Baikal is on the other side. It is practically impossible to reach the site by motor transport, Parshchikov explained.
One hundred and eight people are working there with the use of 27 units of machines, the first deputy head of the Emergencies Ministry's regional department reported.
One repair train that was immediately sent to the site from the Irkutsk-Passazhirsky station has already completed its work on the western side. From the eastern side, a train was sent from Ulan-Ude, which ran a distance of over 300 km. It has just started working at the site.
All the forces are mobilized to resume traffic on one of the tracks as soon as possible. Trains will run through the site in turn in both directions. It will take at least five hours more to repair the second track, Parshchikov said.