A power surge caused several cars of a Moscow subway train to fly off the tracks at the height of the morning’s rush hour, killing at least 20 people and injuring at least 150, reports the AP. At least 50 of those are thought to be injured seriously. About 200 people have been evacuated from the train, which is stuck between two stations in Russia’s capital. Although Russian news agency ITAR TASS is quoting the Russian health minister as saying one person is still trapped in the wreckage, emergency services personnel at the scene are speculating there are more. Photos on Twitter show a grisly scene, with bloodied passengers being carried out on stretchers and laid out on the ground for medical attention as helicopters transported the more seriously injured to nearby hospitals.
Reports say that the power surge triggered an alarm, which caused the train to come to an abrupt halt between Slaviansky Boulevard and Park Pobedy stations in the western part of the city, according to the BBC. Hindering rescue efforts is the fact that the Park Pobedy station is the deepest station in Moscow, nestled 275 feet underground, says the AP. The tunnel where the crash took place was about 10 years old; the metro itself opened in 1935. Critics say that officials have spent too much time and money expanding the subway system and not paid enough attention to maintenance, the BBC report. There have been 13 emergency events on the metro so far this year, but no previous injuries, according to USA Today. One passenger who was evacuated told Rossiya 24 television, "There was smoke and we were trapped inside. It’s a miracle we got out. I thought it was the end."