Bomb derails Russian train, kills 25

Bomb derails Russian train, kills 25

Bomb derails Russian train, kills 25

 Deadly tracks: Railroad workers stand next to a damaged coach at the site of a train derailment near the town of Uglovka, some 400 km north-east of Moscow, Russia, on Saturday. APA luxury express train carrying hundreds of passengers from Moscow to St Petersburg derailed on Friday night after a bomb detonated on the tracks in a rural area, killing more than 25 people and injuring more than 100 others, officials said.

The force of the crash crumpled parts of the train, propelling several of its 14 cars well off the rails, trapping passengers in smashed compartments and scattering luggage into the nearby woods. People on the train, called the Nevsky Express, perhaps the most illustrious in Russia, reported a scene of panic and devastation.

The investigative wing of the prosecutor general’s office said on Saturday that it had discovered remnants of a bomb at the site that left a crater five feet deep.

Vladimir Yakunin, head of the Russian railway system, said: “The basic version that it is being investigated by the lead investigators is that it was an unknown device, by unknown persons. Simply put, a terrorist act.”

There were no immediate credible claims of responsibility.

The explosion was the worst terrorist attack in Russia in years, outside the volatile North Caucasus region.

In nationally televised remarks, President Dmitri A Medvedev called for calm. “We need there to be no chaos, because the situation is tense as it is,” he said.

At the crash site, an isolated region that is 200 miles northwest of Moscow, victims spoke of disarray, with rescuers delayed in arriving and then lacking equipment to extract people from the smashed railway cars, according to interviews on Russian television. It was several hours before proper equipment arrived. “I was riding in one of the cars that derailed,” Igor Pechnikov, a passenger, told the Channel One network. “There was a jolt and the car started sliding sharply to the left. I was thrown from my seat and flew halfway down the car.”

The train was carrying 633 passengers and 20 railway personnel during its regular run to St Petersburg, officials said.

Trains in Russia have been the targets of sabotage and bombs before. In 2007, an explosion on the Moscow-St. Petersburg line derailed a train, injuring more than two dozen people. Two people were arrested, but the motive was unclear.