March 19, 2006

None hurt as Moscow metro tunnel crashes onto train

MOSCOW (Reuters) - All passengers escaped unhurt on Sunday
after part of the tunnel roof in Moscow's underground system
came loose and fell onto a moving train, emergency services
said on Sunday.

"All the passengers have been evacuated. The evacuation is
complete. There were no casualties," said Emergencies Ministry
spokesman Viktor Beltsov.

"There are two groups of workers down in the tunnel and
they are clearing up the rubble, and cutting through the
reinforced concrete," he said.

Emergency services said a section of concrete had fallen
from the tunnel roof as a train was traveling between stations
north of central Moscow and pierced one of the carriages.

Officials had said the affected carriage caught fire but
Russian news agencies, citing other officials, later said there
had been no fire.

Train services were suspended on the affected line and
stations were shut, a Reuters witness said.

The accident happened on the Zamoskvoretskaya line, about
six km (four miles) north of Moscow's city center. The train
was traveling between the Voikovskaya and Sokol stations,
heading south, officials said.

Moscow's subway system is used heavily. There are fewer
passengers at weekends than during the week but there are still
usually at least a dozen people in each carriage.

Russian news agencies quoted emergency services as saying
they were investigating whether building work on the surface
had caused the tunnel to give way.