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Moscow Mourns Victims of Metro Derailment

Published: July 17, 2014 (Issue # 1820)



  • Moscow's Park Pobedy metro station also saw a steady flow of mourners on Wednesday, with people paying their respects to the more than 20 dead and 217 injured in Tuesday's deadly crash.
    Photo: Pascal Dumont / SPT

Muscovites observed a day of mourning on Wednesday as workers and investigators rummaged through the scene of a fatal metro derailment that claimed at least 23 lives and injured more than 160 others the day before.

Mourners paid their respects to the victims, laying flowers at the entrances of the Slavyansky Bulvar and Park Pobedy metro stations on the Dark Blue Line in western Moscow. Tuesday's crash the deadliest technical accident in the metro's 79-year history occurred during morning rush hour, when three metro cars traveling at 70 kilometers per hour skidded off the rails between the two stations.

Soon after Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin vowed that those responsible for the accident would be severely punished, Russia's Investigative Committee identified two rail technicians as suspects.

The technicians, Valery Bashkatov and Yury Gordov, had been responsible for overseeing work performed on railway switch mechanisms between the two stations.

In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, the Investigative Committee said it believed that the accident was caused by a faulty railway switch that had been fastened using improper wiring that could not withstand the normal passage of trains.

The suspects could face charges under Article 263 of the Russian Criminal Code on violations of rules for transportation safety. The law states that negligence entailing the deaths of two or more people is punishable by four to 10 years in prison.

The Investigative Committee also said that it was working on a chronology of events that led to the accident and that it was in the process of checking the licenses of contractors and subcontractors performing work on the city's metro system.

The conductor involved in the accident whom authorities had declared dead before later retracting their statement regained consciousness at a Moscow hospital on Wednesday, Interfax reported.

As more than 150 commuters remain in hospitals, Moscow's volunteer organizations have mobilized to support the victims, organizing three four-day blood clinics across the city.

A wave of international condolences has also come in after the accident. Residents of Kiev laid flowers and lit candles in front of the Russian Embassy, which just last month had been the scene of a disorderly protest linked to Russia's perceived role in the crisis in Ukraine.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, are among those who who offered their condolences to the victims' families and friends.

Train service remains interrupted on the Dark Blue Line between the Kievskaya and Molodyozhnaya stations. Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov told reporters that service would be restored by Friday morning, Interfax reported.

Since January, 13 major technical issues have been recorded in the Moscow metro. Two of those incidents were deadly.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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