A Moscow subway train derailed Tuesday morning, killing more than a dozen people and wounding more than a hundred others, officials said.
Reports vary as investigations continue, but the state-run news agency ITAR-Tass said the death toll has climbed to 20 people. As many as 129 people were injured, said Oleg Salagai, a spokesman for the Health Ministry. The Associated Press, however, reported 150 people were injured, many of whom are in critical condition.
The Emergency Ministry blamed an electricity outage for the three cars that derailed, claiming that a voltage drop caused the train to stop abruptly.
But Russia’s Investigative Committee does not believe that is the case and is inspecting possible technical causes of the incident after dismissing the possibility of a terrorist attack. “As you know, there are always specific people behind a technogenic accident. That is why I think that we will soon determine suspects in this criminal case,” Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, told ITAR-Tass.
“People guilty of the tragedy will face not only dismissal, but criminal proceedings as well,” said Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow.
He added that one of the drivers has not been located and that the train was going 70 kph, or about 43 mph, when it veered off the tracks.
During a seven-hour period, more than 1,100 people were evacuated from the subway cars, the AP said.
“There was smoke and we were trapped inside,” a survivor told Rossiya 24 television, according to Fox News. “It’s a miracle we got out. I thought it was the end," he said.
As the aftermath of the incident is resolved, the metro's blue line will be out of service for about two days. About 7 million people daily rely on the famous underground system, built during Josef Stalin’s rule, The Wall Street Journal said.