An investigation is underway after a collision between a cargo and passenger train outside of Moscow killed at least six people. Dozens more were injured in the accident, which ripped the side off a passenger carriage.
The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that the accident occurred when several cars on a cargo train derailed and collided with a passenger train moving on a parallel track near Naro-Fominsk, a town located 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Moscow.
Officials said up to 45 people were also injured in the accident, the cause of which has not yet been determined. A criminal investigation into the incident has been opened.
Russian television footage showed one side of a passenger car ripped away by the crash, while dazed passengers climbed out of the wreckage and up a grassy bank to safety.
The train had been traveling from Moscow to the Moldovan capital of Chisinau when the accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. (0830 UTC).
"We tried to use an emergency brake. We couldn't see anything ahead, there was lots of dust. Visibility was zero," one of the drivers of the passenger train was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
Hundreds of rescue workers, as well as ambulance crews and helicopters responded to the scene to help the victims.
Five killed instantly
An official for the state-owned Russian Railways told reporters at the scene that five people had been killed immediately in the accident and a sixth died later in the hospital.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said 25 of the 45 injured were hospitalized, 15 of whom were in grave condition. All of the injured were in the same car.
Serious accidents are relatively rare on Russia's 85,000-kilometer railway system. However, its aging transportation infrastructure, including railways, has been criticized for the lack of necessary renovation and investment.
dr/pfd (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)