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Moscow railway blast: E-train almost derailed
Written by Хаирбек АЛМАКАЕВ, Елена ШЕРЕМЕТОВА   
Вторник, 04 Ноябрь 2008
1An electric train full of passengers was less than an hour from arriving at the station platform when the engineer of a passing locomotive warned of potential disaster. He saw the explosion, stopped his train, and reported the incident.

The blast on the railway track near the 'Biryulyovo-Tovarnaya' station happened at 4:20 am, damaging four railroad ties and tossing aside the rails. Fortunately there were no victims, but the first train from Moscow to Domodedovo airport was supposed to arrive at the platform at 5:15 am — an hour after the explosion.
One cannot guess how this attack may have ended, if not for locomotive engineer Aleksei Kondrakhin. Early that morning he was driving a locomotive on a neighboring route.

«I saw a flash in front of the cab, and heard a loud bang,» Aleksei told reporters from 'KP'. «I stopped the train, jumped out, and saw that the neighboring track had twisted rails and a crater about a meter or two in diameter, about a meter deep. In accordance with instructions I immediately reported what happened.»
The tracks were repaired as soon as possible.

Traffic on the routes was immediately halted.

A police rapid response team immediately arrived on the scene, as well as a group from the Emergency Ministry. Repairs were begun, and at 8:38 am the trains were running again.

Who blew up the rails is as yet unknown. But, as we know, the police already have a suspect. It is Vasily S. from the Krasnodar territory. As soon as the bombing of the tracks was made known, law enforcement agencies alerted all police stations. Vasily S. was halted at a traffic police stop near the village of Bulatnikovo, just south of the Moscow Ring. He was driving to the region from the capital. When asked by the cops where he was going, Vasily said that he was going fishing with friends. On inspection, however, no fishing rods were found in his trunk, and he failed to clearly answer questions on the whereabouts of his friends. Vasily was detained is now being questioned by police.
Terrorists had not accurately calculated the bomb's time of detonation for the charge, allowing the tragedy to be avoided.

The prosecutor's office opened a criminal case under the law governing terrorism.

«It's clearly deliberate sabotage,» said combat engineers who were working the scene. The bomb was not radio-controlled — it had a clockwork mechanism. The explosive was RDX, which has been used in virtually every high-profile terrorist attack in the capital. The power of the charge was about two kilograms of TNT. Had the explosion occurred when a train was on the track, then the consequences could have been tragic. Fortunately the terrorists had not accurately calculated the bomb's time of detonation, and the explosion occurred earlier.

Recall that a similar incident occurred a month ago, on October 5th, along the same stretch of the railway, just a little further south in the region of the city of Vidnoye. Unknown persons also mined train tracks, though not on the mainline, but along the technical route. The power of that bomb was also about two kilograms of TNT. In that case, however, it was investigated as hooliganism. Investigation has not yet determined if these cases are linked.

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