Explosion in Moscow Metro Station Injures Three Workers

"Nando Times"

01/01/98

MOSCOW (January 1, 1998 1:12 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - An abandoned bag exploded Thursday on a subway platform in central Moscow, wounding three subway employees.

A spokesman for the metro, which is famed for its ornate Stalin-era stations and deep tunnels, said by telephone the blast at the Tretyakov station was under investigation.

"It was full of smoke in here and it was a loud explosion," said escalator operator Ivan Chizhol.

"The explosion took place at 9.37 this morning," said another metro worker. "A driver found a package resembling a woman's handbag in one of the connecting tunnels. He looked in there and saw batteries and wires so he gave it to the station master."

The bag exploded some time later in or near the station's duty office as the station master was alerting police.

Three women metro workers were injured. One was kept in hospital with concussion and shock but the others escaped with minor injuries and were allowed home.

The station, which is across the Moscow River from the Kremlin, was operating normally again soon afterwards, although uniformed and plainclothes police were at the scene.

A slight blackening of the end of the white tunnel hall was the only sign there had been an explosion.

Few passengers were in the station when the bag exploded. Most people were still at home sleeping off New Year celebrations.


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