Sabotage fear over metro fire
Tuesday 31 October 1995
President Geidar Aliyev told a US diplomat that, while preliminary information pointed to a technical fault, the tragedy was "possibly an organised act of sabotage", said the Azeri news agency, Turan. Initially the government said the disaster was an accident caused by outdated Soviet equipment. This was despite the fact that the Baku metro has been bombed twice in the past 18 months, with the loss of 20 lives.
If it was terrorism, it is not clear who was to blame. Azerbaijan has been engaged in a long and bloody territorial dispute with Armenia over the Nagorny Karabakh enclave. Parliamentary elections, due next month, have also been the focus of considerable friction, not least because the President banned five parties from involvement.
Prayers were held in a mosque yesterday for some of the victims, killed when fire and carbon monoxide swept through a train after it stopped between two stations in central Baku on Saturday.
While the tragedy has profoundly shocked the oil city, the amount of information reaching the rest of the nation's 7 million people is limited. The government has imposed a virtual news black-out: there have been no pictures of the carnage on television and most channels were off the air, or playing sombre music. There were still differences yesterday over the death-toll, with figures ranging from 289 to 337.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...