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Broken switch confirmed as main cause of Moscow metro crash — mayor

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says all other possible causes of the crash will be checked and investigated very thoroughly

MOSCOW, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A broken switch was confirmed as one of the main causes of the Moscow metro crash that killed 23 people and left more than 200 injured, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told reporters on Wednesday.

““All other possible causes of the crash will be checked and investigated very thoroughly," the mayor said.

An engine driver who works in the metro told ITAR-TASS that the railway switch mechanism was installed contrary to technical requirements.

“Apparently, this railway switch was not yet connected to the centralized system, therefore, according to the traffic schedule, the engineer was driving the train at a speed of 65-70 kmph,” the source said. Thus, the first car of the train hit a side track, derailed and rammed into the end face of the wall between two tunnels.


Suspects in metro crash detained

Two suspects who may be responsible for the Moscow metro crash on July 15 have been detained earlier on Wednesday, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (IC) Vladimir Markin told ITAR-TASS.

“Investigators of the main IC investigation department today detained two persons suspected of transport safety rules violation (article 263.1, part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code). They are track supervisor of the Moscow Metro State Unitary Enterprise Valery Bashkatov and his assistant Yuri Gordov,” Markin said.

According to investigators, since late May 2014, preparatory work was launched on the stretch between the Park Pobedy and Slavyansky Bulvar stations for installing the rail switch mechanism to putting a new rail section into operation.

“A number of contractors and sub-contractors were involved in these operations. Bashkatov and Gordov were directly involved in this work and were controlling its performance. The work was improperly performed: the rail switch mechanism was fixed by a simple 3-mm wire that broke. This caused the electric train derailment, the death of 22 people and injuries of varying severity to more than 150 passengers,” he said.

According to Markin, the suspects have already been interrogated. “The investigation plans to bring charges against them and select the measure of restraint,” he said.