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Train derailment in Russia's Far East 'caused by warped track'

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Russian authorities said the derailment of a train in the country's Far East on Thursday morning, which left dozens injured, is believed to have been caused by heat-induced buckling of the track.
MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian authorities said the derailment of a train in the country's Far East on Thursday morning, which left dozens injured, is believed to have been caused by heat-induced buckling of the track.

The Kharabovsk-Neryungri train carrying around 400 people derailed at 8:00 a.m. Moscow time (04:00 GMT), while travelling at a speed of around 88 km/h (55 mph). Ten of the train's 16 carriages overturned, and around 60 people suffered injuries, five of whom are in hospital.

Oleg Safonov, the presidential aide to the Far East region, told RIA Novosti that the cause of the accident was "a double-buckling of a stretch of seamless rail due to temperature stress." Around 400 meters of track was damaged, he said.

The Transportation Ministry said: "The cause of the accident is being investigated. According to preliminary information, the driver, after navigating a leftward bend, saw a buckling in the track 200 meters away, while travelling at 95 km/h, and applied the emergency break. He brought the speed down to around 88 km/h."

Russian Railways said trains in the area are using an alternative line, and are facing delays of no more than one and a half hours. The section of damaged track is near the town of Shimanovsk in the Amur Region.

Company Vice President Vadim Morozov said: "We are doing everything possible to re-start traffic along this route as soon as possible."

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