Moscow: Rail traffic in central Moscow was thrown out of gear today after thousands of people were evacuated at Okhotny Ryad station following a fire that closed a transit line.
The incident happened during morning rush hour, and resulted in a partial mass transit shutdown. The fire broke out on a power cable between the Okhotny Ryad and Biblioteka Imeni Lenina stations on the Sokolnicheskaya Line this morning. The two stations are located on the Moscow Metroaâ‚¬â„¢s oldest Sokolnicheskaya line which runs through the city centre close to the Kremlin. A total of six stations on the line has been closed.
At least 47 passengers were hurt in the incident at the Okhotny Ryad station, with the number expected to grow as evacuees consult medics, reported Viktor Biryukov, a spokesperson for the Russian Emergencies Situations Ministry.
Seven of them were taken to hospital, he said. Mr Biryukov told mediapersons that some 4,500 people have been evacuated from the Metro. Some trains were stopped inside a tunnel when the flames erupted. All stranded passengers and Metro employees have been rescued, and the evacuation ended about an hour after the incident started.
The fire broke out at approximately 9:04am Moscow time (1036 hrs IST), and firefighters managed to quickly douse the blaze. The facilities affected by smoke are being ventilated.
The Emergencies Ministry has recommended that commuters use alternative means of transportation until normal service is resumed on the red line.