At least 20 people were killed and 160 injured in a train derailment in Moscow today, according to Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov. One hundred twenty nine people were taken to the hospital, of which almost 50 are in critical condition.
The train reportedly braked suddenly between the Slaviansky Boulevard and Park Pobedy stations in the west of Moscow, causing it to derail and crash.
More than 1,100 people have been evacuated from the subway tunnel, and the search and rescue mission continues to look for additional victims. As many as eight helicopters, 66 buses, and 40 ambulances were reportedly deployed to the site for evacuations.
The exact cause of the accident is currently unknown, but officials are pointing towards technical causes for the crash. Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said there is currently no reason to suspect a terrorist attack, but that the investigation is still unfolding.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told reporters he was ordering an independent investigation into the crash. “I’m sure a criminal case should be launched into the accident, an investigation conducted and the toughest measures taken,” he said.
One of the drivers of the train has yet to be found, but it is unlikely he or she survived the crash based on the driver's position in the lead car, Markin added.
Other possible causes that are being investigated include a failure of switches, sagging of the metro track, and a potential power outage.
“I was tossed up in the air,” one victim told RT. “There was blood on the floor, heads bruised, arms broken. Panic broke out.”
Moscow’s Mayor declared that Wednesday, July 16 would be a day of mourning in honor of the victims of the metro crash.
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