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Metro train crash: Death toll up to 21

July 15, 2014, 18:28 UTC+3

A Chinese and a Tajik citizen were among the victims; bodies of two remain stuck in the crashed train

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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The death toll has risen to 21 in the Moscow metro incident, Russia's Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova said.

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According to Gennady Golukhov, the city’s health department head, a total of 136 people were injured in the accident, 42 of them are in intensive care.

Two foreigners have died in the accident, the head of the Moscow healthcare department has reported. "One Tajik citizen and one Chinese citizens have been identified," Georgy Glukhov said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, an operative staff representative confirmed that it would take until midnight to dismantle the steel structures of the train's first car in the tunnel under the ground.

So far, rescuers haven't taken out the bodies of two victims that remain in two cars. The Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) has told ITAR-TASS that a group of nearly 700 rescuers and 260 equipment units are working at the site of the tragedy.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has ordered the Committee for Preventing Emergencies of the Moscow government to conduct an additional independent investigation of the metro train crash.

Spokesperson for the mayor and local government Gulnara Penkova has confirmed this, adding that Sobyanin included top experts in the commission.

She recalled that the investigative commission would be led by Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov. In addition, Sobyanin ordered the Moscow metro to carry out an additional routine testing of all the track facilities.


Versions ans suspects

The chief of Moscow's metro has not applied for resignation in connection with the accident, a source in Moscow's government reported. Earlier, reports in some media said Ivan Besedin decided to resign.

Meanwhile, the source confirmed that Besedin was summoned from his vacation ahead of time. Russia's Investigative Committee is currently carrying out a probe due to the metro train crash.

Suspects in the case of the train derailment in the Moscow metro will be determined soon, Investigative Committee's spokesperson Vladimir Markin said. “As you know, there are always specific people behind a technogenic accident. That is why I think that we will soon determine suspects in this criminal case,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, voltage surge as a cause of the Moscow metro train crash is not confirmed, Vladimir Markin said.

Causes of the tragedy

Investigators are considering several possible causes of the train derailment in the Moscow metro. All possible causes of the accident are technical, there are no grounds to suspect a terrorist attack, Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin said. Markin also confirmed that the power surge is not considered as a possible cause of the accident.

“A version of voltage surge is not confirmed, but we will be checking it,” he said.

Markin named several possible theories of the metro disaster. “This is a failure of switches, sagging of the railway track...We will probe a theory of malfunction in the metro car and all other theories which will arise,” the committee’s spokesman noted.

One of the train drivers has not been found yet, Vladimir Markin said, adding that it is hard to identify the victims and it is unlikely that the driver that was in the first car could survive. The Investigative Committee's spokesperson specified that the train was moving at the speed of 70 kmph.

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