|Bianca Ortega |||Jul 15, 2014 09:29 AM EDT|
(Photo : Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin) Members of the emergency services wait outside a metro station following an accident on the subway in Moscow July 15, 2014.
A subway car accident on the Moscow Metro occurred in the middle of the morning rush hour on Tuesday, leaving 12 people dead and 150 injured, according to an official.
Russian Emergencies Ministry (Emercom) head Vladimir Puchkov told reporters that they recorded 12 fatalities so far and that half of the casualties had severe injuries. A source cited by RT.com said the train driver also died in the accident.
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An eyewitness said the front carriage suffered the most damage. The train suddenly stopped, and the lights went out right after, according to a passenger. Another witness told LifeNews that it took rescuers 30 minutes before the victims were evacuated from the tunnel.
The cause of the accident was a power surge, Emercom explained. Maksim Liskutov, Moscow government's transport department chief, said the accident could not have been part of a terror attack. According to Moscow's emergency agency, the derailment of the train was caused by a very sudden brake application.
Three hours after the tragic accident, seven people are still caught in one of the subway cars inside a tunnel between the Slavyansky Bulvar and Park Pobedy stations in western Moscow. Authorities are still trying to evacuate the trapped passengers.
Rescuers already deployed stretchers, eight helicopters, 40 ambulances, and 66 buses for the evacuation of the remaining passengers. Fifty of them were already moved from Slavyansky Bulvar and 200 more from the Park Pobedy station.
So far, no foreigners were reportedly injured, based on an Interfax statement cited by BBC News.
Some critics blamed the accident on the Russian authorities' excessive spending on the extension of the metro system. They say more budget should be allocated on the maintenance of the metro.
Park Pobedy, at about 84 meters (275 feet) underground, is Moscow's deepest metro station. Its location makes the rescue process very difficult, the Associated Press news firm said.
The Investigative Committee (IC) launched a criminal case for "violation of transportation security demands," Moscow's Western District Department of the IC interim head Roman Syomushkin said.
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