Moscow Subway Wreck Kills 20; Terrorism Ruled Out

Updated: 07/15/2014 2:22 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 10:35 AM

MOSCOW (AP) - Officials in Moscow are vigorously dismissing terrorism as a possible cause of today's subway derailment that killed at least 21 people. The accident sent 136 others to the hospital, many with serious injuries.

More than 1,100 people were evacuated from the train, which was stuck between two stations, in a rescue operation that ended more than 12 hours after the accident. One woman who was taken from the scene died in a Moscow hospital.

Officials initially blamed a power surge that they said had triggered an alarm, causing the train to stop abruptly. They now say that's not the case -- and they're looking at other possible factors, including a defect in one of the cars or the sinking of the roadbed.

Survivors told Russian TV that they felt a sharp impact that knocked them off their feet and hurled them across the train cars.

The station near where the derailment occurred is the deepest one in Moscow -- sitting 275 feet below the surface -- making the rescue particularly difficult.

While technical glitches are regular occurrences in the Moscow Metro, the subway hasn't seen deadly accidents in decades. Terrorism is another matter. More than 100 people have been killed in bombings on Moscow's subway trains or near stations since 2000.

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In this frame grab from video provided by the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, rescue teams work inside the tunnel in Moscow where a rush-hour subway train derailed Tuesday.
AP Photo/Russian Emergency Situation Ministry

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