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25 Jan, 2010 06:56

Strong blast rocks Ukrainian train

A powerful explosion which rocked a passenger train in Ukraine on Sunday, January 24, has wounded nine people. Two of the nine injured remain in hospital on Monday.

Two of the wounded are train employees.

Conductors had the gas tank in their compartment for cooking, which was in direct violation of safety rules, according to the Ukrainian Security Service, Interfax reported on Monday.  According to preliminary information, the tank exploded when the train stopped at Luzhany station.

The explosion occurred at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT), according to Ukrainian news agency Unian. A total of seven people have been hospitalized with burns.

The train was heading from the city of Chernovtsy in the west of the country to the capital Kiev when the blast occurred in the third car early in the journey.

The damaged car has since been separated, and the train has continued on its journey.

Chernovtsy prosecutors opened a criminal case.

The administration of Ukraine’s national railroad company UkrZaliznytsia has begun a mass inspection of passenger trains for forbidden items. The statement was made on Monday by deputy general director of UkrZaliznytsia Nikolai Snitko, according to Ukrainian news agency Unian.

Snitko also added that financial compensation will be provided to all passengers who sought medical help after the explosion.