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Moscow mourns metro crash victims

July 16, 2014, 10:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Twenty-two people were killed and 146 injured as three metro train cars derailed during the rush hour on Tuesday
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

MOSCOW, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow ismourning Tuesday's metro crash victims. July 15 metro accident has become the deadliest over the entire 79-year history of the city's subway service. Twenty-two people were killed and 146 injured as three metro train cars derailed during the rush hour on Tuesday. Many crash victims are in critical condition at hospitals with traumatic brain injuries and bone fractures, chest and abdomen injuries. Residents of 12 regions of Russia and citizens of five countries were hurt in the accident. Two foreigners died.

The causes of the tragedy are under investigation. The following versions are considered: rail point failure, railway roadbed sinking and a train car defect. The terrorist attack is not considered as a possible cause of the crash. Initial data suggested that the conduct rail was de-energized as a result of power surge. There was emergency and uneven braking of the train that was moving with a speed of about 70 kmph. The first car was thrown out of the rail track and turned around, and the next cars collided with each other, up-thrusting the train that smashed down everything around. Many passengers of the ill-fated train were crushed by the twisted metal. Rescuers were recovering the bodies, cutting them out of the metal for nearly five hours.

Flags in Moscow are flown at half-mast, entertainment events have been cancelled. Prayer services are underway at all the city churches for the repose of those killed and for the health of the injured. Sixteen hospitals have opened special blood donor centers. The city authorities will pay compensations to the families of those killed in the amount of $90,000. The Moscow mayor has given instructions to conduct unscheduled checks of all the metro facilities. The persons responsible for the accident will be brought to justice.

Muscovites are bringing flowers and mourning candles to the metro stations Slavyansky Bulvar and Park Pobedy. The first wreaths appeared there on Tuesday evening. As the stations are closed, people are leaving flowers in a small square near the Vctory Park, as well as on the parapets of the entrances to the stations. Many are weeping.

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It will take about two days to fully restore train traffic on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya metro line. Repair work was underway throughout the night in the emergency tunnel. The clearing of the wreckage of the crashed train is expected to be completed by 12.00pm GMT. Other trains that had to stop in the tunnel during the accident will be tugged to the engine sheds and spur tracks. When the rail stretch between the stations is fully cleared, rail track maintenance workers, alarm and communications specialists and representatives of other services of the metro will get down to work there.

Hundreds of compensation buses carry passengers free of charge on Wednesday along the emergency stations. Moscow metro operation should be restored fully in the course of Wednesday, Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov told reporters.

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