(Moscow) Moscow city officials are reporting that at least 16 people have died and 120 injured in the Metro’s subway crash that happened around 8:35 local time this morning. The crash came in the midst of the morning commute as thousands of riders were traveling to work, causing traffic jams and long delays in getting around the city.
The crash took place between the Park Pobedy (Victory Park) and Slavyansky Bulvar (Slavic Blvd) stations Tuesday morning. Officials say the initial cause was a sudden loss of electric power causing a train to suddenly decelerate. Trains are often spaced only 90 seconds apart during Moscow’s heavy rush hour commute.
Emergency personnel say that over 100 ambulances and several emergency helicopters were used to evacuate the injured. The Slavyansky Bulvar and Park Pobedy metro stations are part of the city’s Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line, commonly known as the Blue Line.
Emergency Situations Ministry officials shut down the Slavyansky Bulvar station so that rescuers could attend to the victims and give investigators time to determine the exact cause of the crash. Making the rescue work difficult was the depth of the system–at 84 meters, that is 275 feet, Park Pobedy is the deepest of Moscow’s 194 metro stations.
The packed train was traveling from the north of the city toward the center and some 200 passengers had to be assisted in evacuating according to emergency workers. Dozens of injured commuters were treated outside for smaller injuries. Prosecutors have launched an official inquiry to determine the cause of the derailment.