More than 20 people have reportedly been injured and 16 hospitalized after a train going from Moscow to Brest collided with a commuter train. It happened after a man reportedly crossed the tracks, prompting the use of the emergency brakes.
Four carriages were derailed, with one turning upside down and visibly wrecked, as shown on footage filmed by eyewitnesses.
“At that moment 445 passengers and a train crew were on board a long-distance train, and the driver, his assistant and two ticket inspectors were on the inter-urban train,” said the Investigative Committee’s spokesperson, Tatiana Morozova, as cited by RIA Novosti. She added that among those who were hospitalized are the crew of the long-distance train and both ticket inspectors.
Foreign citizens are among the victims of the crash, according to the preliminary data obtained by the Emergencies Ministry, its head, Dmitry Puchkov, told journalists, adding that the disrupted railway’s services are expected to be brought into operation by Sunday morning.
The Moscow Healthcare Department earlier told RIA Novosti that 12 people, including a child, have been admitted to hospitals after the crash. One of the victims was in serious condition.
Fire and rescue brigades were called to the scene and evacuated all the passengers. Some 170 rescuers have been working at the site of the incident, aided with 70 pieces of equipment, including two emergency response trains.
One of the commuter train carriages was torn in two as result of the collision, RIA Novosti reports, citing its own correspondent at the scene.
The bang was “very strong,” an eyewitness of the crash told Moscow 24 TV channel.
“We were standing in the vestibule and felt a sharp blow. Very strong. Several people have been bruised, but without major injures,” he said.
TASS reported that 23 people suffered injuries in the collision, citing a source in the ministry.
“According to preliminary information, a commuter train heading from Vyazma to Moscow collided with a long-distance Moscow to Brest train after the driver used the emergency brakes, due to a person on the tracks,” the source said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been following the situation and has ordered all necessary steps to remedy the situation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow.
Railway services in the area have been suspended and are expected to be come back into operation no sooner than Sunday morning, a source in the railway industry told TASS, adding that an overhead system has been dismantled on the track used for trains heading from Moscow.