21 may

Moldovan passenger train collides with freighter near Moscow

Moldovan passenger train #341 “Moscow-Chisinau” collided with a freight train near the city of Narofominsk some 80 kilometers off Moscow on Tuesday noon.

According to the press service of the National Railroad Company of Russia (RJD), at 12.32 hrs Moscow time 16 cars of the freight train went off rails due to a breakage of a car undercarriage. The derailing cars started colliding tangentially with the Moldovan train that happened to be moving there in the opposite direction at the moment. As a result, three of its sleeping cars turned over, too.

According to the RJD, the Moldovan train was carrying over 400 people altogether – 394 passengers plus personnel. At the moment, 45 specialists and 16 specialized machines are working at the crush site. Ambulances and helicopters have delivered to hospitals all persons who needed more serious assistance. Medical specialists are rendering help on the spot as well.

Nobody can tell for sure how many passengers are still remaining in one of the cars that was pressed down to the ground by a very heavy container car of the freighter.

The Russian railroad authorities have already formed an ‘emergency headquarters’ for investigating into the catastrophe reasons and rendering help to all who need it.

The Moldovan Government has formed an emergency working group headed by Deputy Minister of Transport and Road Infrastructure Boris Gherasim to investigate into the accident and mitigate its consequences.

Gherasim said, “We have been in constant touch with the Moldovan Embassy’s consulate office in Moscow, whose employees are already on the crush site. Unfortunately, the number of accident victims is going to be greater than what has been established and reported to the present moment”.

The Moldovan authorities are collaborating with Russian colleagues, who have already opened a hot line and are organizing the delivery to Russia of the relatives of the victims and injured persons.

Boris Gherasim says the train will arrive in Chisinau on Wednesday – without the said 3 cars.