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Two men arrested over deadly Moscow metro crash

By Alla Eshchenko and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 4:43 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Investigators say that faulty work on a section of track led to the derailment
  • A maintenance foreman and his assistant have been arrested, authorities say
  • The rush hour derailment killed 22 people and injured 160 others
  • Three metro train cars derailed in a tunnel

Moscow (CNN) -- Two people have been arrested in connection with a metro train derailment in Moscow which left more than 20 people dead and injured scores more, Russia's Investigative Committee said Wednesday.

The pair held on suspicion of violating transport safety rules are a maintenance foreman, Valery Bashkatov, and his assistant, Yury Gordov, a statement on the committee's website said.

The men were involved in overseeing recent work on a rail junction switch on a section of track between Park Pobedy and Slavyansky Bulvar stations, the committee said.

Paramedics and firefighters carry an injured man after a metro train derailed in Moscow on Tuesday, July 15. It was not immediately clear what caused the derailment, which took place during morning rush hour in the Russian capital. Paramedics and firefighters carry an injured man after a metro train derailed in Moscow on Tuesday, July 15. It was not immediately clear what caused the derailment, which took place during morning rush hour in the Russian capital.
Moscow train derailment
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Photos: Moscow train derailment Photos: Moscow train derailment
Several dead in Moscow train derailment

"Investigators believe that the works themselves were conducted improperly," the statement said. Cable used in the works broke, leading to the derailment, it said.

The two suspects have been questioned and the authorities intend to charge them soon, the committee said. Meanwhile, investigators are continuing to examine the circumstances of the derailment and others involved in the works.

"The Investigative Committee intends to establish and bring to justice all those involved into this tragedy, from performers to top officials who had to supervise and ensure the full requirements of the transport safety rules of the Moscow Metro," the statement said.

At least 23 people were killed when three metro train cars derailed in the tunnel during Tuesday's morning rush hour, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency said.

Another 160 were injured, of whom more than 120 were hospitalized, according to the Moscow health care department. Of those, a few dozen were in critical condition.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Wednesday would be a day of mourning.

The head of Moscow's Transportation Department said Tuesday the derailment was not the result of a terrorist attack. However, a criminal investigation was launched into what was behind the crash.

The metro system -- the backbone of the city's public transit network -- carries roughly 11 million people daily.

CNN's Alla Eshchenko reported from Moscow and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.

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