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Road master detained over train collision in Moscow Region

May 22, 2014, 12:48 UTC+3 22 22/5
Investigative Committee reports the train collision was caused by violations in organizing the railroad repair
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© ITAR-TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofyev

MOSCOW, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. A road master of the Moscow-Kiev maintenance section has been detained upon the criminal case filed over the train collision in the Naro-Fominsk district of the Moscow Region, according to spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin.

“According to the investigation, May 20, employees of the Moscow-Kiev maintenance section of the Russian Railways’ (RZD) Moscow office violated regulations during the off-schedule maintenance between stations Bekasovo-1 and Nara. In particular, train drivers moving on that maintenance section were not notified about the repair works and the necessity to change the traffic mode. As a result, the driver of the freight train while coming out of a bend of road did not have a chance to prevent the cars’ derailment and the train’s collision with the Moscow-Chisinau passenger train moving in the reverse direction,” Markin specified.

He added that, according to preliminary reports, the accident was caused by a technical failure of the railroad conduit triggered by repair works on that road section. In addition, the investigation says the works were being conducted with violations of temperature requirements. It means that the repairs were not possible amid high temperatures. Furthermore, signalmen were not put to let the train drivers know about the changes in the traffic mode on this road section.

Investigative Committee reports the train collision was caused by violations in organizing the railroad repair

“In addition to that, within the framework of the criminal investigation, the detectives are to find out why the warning about maintenance works didn’t reach the engine crews,” Markin added.

“On suspicion of committing a crime, 41-year-old road master of Moscow-Kiev maintenance section Alexander Sokolov has been detained. In addition, the issue of choosing a punitive measure for the section chief of this organization is being considered; during the investigative actions, he was brought in an ambulance to hospital and diagnosed with asthenoneurotic syndrome caused by suffered stress. Physicians say investigative actions are not possible to be conducted with him due to his health condition,” Markin added. Upon the accident, a criminal case has been filed under Part 3 Article 263 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of transport safety rules and exploitation of railway transport, which led to death of two or more people by inadvertence”).

The Investigative Committee’s spokesperson added that controlling authorities and Interior Ministry’s departments were jointly conducting investigative actions in order to determine all circumstances and causes of the accident and to establish the complicity of other people in the accident.

May 20, nearly at 13:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT) 15 cars of a freight train No.1484 derailed on the section between Bekasovo-1 and Nara of the Kiev railroad direction. This resulted in a side collision with Moscow – Chisinau passenger train of the Moldovan Railways. All in all, there were 394 people in the train. Six of them died and 22 remain in hospital.

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