Train derails, falls onto shoreline in Russia's Sakhalin (VIDEO)
“All 17 victims have been taken to a hospitals in Kholmsk and Chekhov with injuries of varying degrees. The other passengers refused medical assistance,” said the press service of the regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry.
The accident happened at 18:35 local time between the port towns of Kholmsk and Chekhov when one of the two cars slid off the track, presumably due to water washing out soil under the railroad tracks. A rail maintenance foreman died as a result of the incident, a representative of the railway, Sergey Sashinskiy, told TASS. In total, 45 people were aboard the train.
“In this area, the road runs along the seashore, and it is constantly monitored,” Sashinskiy said, calling the accident a “fateful coincidence,” that was aided by severe weather and high tide waves.
The derailment, which damaged about 150 meters of railroad track, happened on a shoreline.
“According to a preliminary investigation, the cause of the accident was the eroded railway,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Emergency crews are still repairing the damaged train line. Rail service between Kholmsk and Chekov remains suspended and travelers are advised to take other means of transportation. More than 175 emergency workers and 19 pieces of heavy machinery are helping clear the track.
An investigation into the accident is underway. The governor of the region, Aleksandr Horoshavin, promised to provide the victims with all necessary help.