Moscow Metro crash: At least 20 killed and 150 injured as train derails in rush hour

The death toll has been rising as bodies are recovered from the wreckage

At least 20 people were killed and more than 150 injured when a Moscow Metro train derailed during rush hour.

Several carriages left the track on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line, also known as Line Three, on Tuesday morning and the rescue operation has so far lasted more than seven hours.

Initial reports said three people were dead and 30 injured but the count has been rising as the emergency operation continues and casualties are recovered from the subway tunnels.

Alexander Gavrilov, deputy chief of the Moscow emergency services, said rescuers have recovered seven bodies and are working to extract 12 more from two wrecked train cars.

One woman taken from the scene later died in hospital.

Emergency officials said 50 of more than 150 passengers injured are in a serious condition in hospital.

One person was still trapped in a wrecked train car but he was alive while emergency workers tried to free him, according to officials.

Yuri Akimov, from Moscow's emergency services, said around 1,100 passengers were evacuated from a tunnel between Park Pobedy and Slavyansky Bulvar stations, in the west of Moscow.

Several cars went off the track and pictures taken during the rescue operation showed the mangled carriages filling the tunnel.

Officials initially said a power surge had triggered an alarm, which caused the train to stop abruptly and come off the tracks.

But Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee, later told reporters later that a power surge was not the issue and investigators were considering a fault in the train cars or a dip in the ground among possible causes.

Before the derailment was confirmed, people reported seeing smoke on the underground line but authorities denied the claims.

The Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, said officials would not only be fired for any part in the disaster but could also face criminal charges if the investigation finds negligence or wrongdoing.

The Russian capital's airports and public transport systems have been hit by several terrorist attacks over the past two decades but he said terrorism is not being considered as a possible cause for Tuesday's accident.

The  Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line, which stretches for 28 miles, is the longest in Moscow and was the second underground route to open in the Russian capital in 1938.

Park Pobedy is the deepest metro station the system, at 275 feet underground, which made the rescue particularly hard.

The station serves the vast Park Pobedy, where the Second World War museum, close to Moscow's triumphal arch.

“At 8:39am Moscow time [04:39 GMT] on a stretch between stations of Park Pobedy [Victory Park] and Slavyansky Bulvar there was abrupt deceleration of a train,” a press service employee told Russia Today.

More than 60 buses, 40 ambulances and three helicopters were sent to evacuate the affected stations.

Additional reporting by AP

Read more: Rush-hour fire halts Red Square trains
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower