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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

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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