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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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