The Moscow metro is getting its own emergency service this fall to respond to any accidents, breakdowns or safety threats on the subway within 15 minutes.
The "rapid response" service, modeled after the federal Emergency Situations Ministry, will have officers posted on every subway line around-the-clock, the Izvestia newspaper reported Wednesday, citing Moscow region security chief Alexei Mayorov.
The service had been in planning before last week's derailment that killed 22 people and injured some 200 others. But what is being considered the deadliest accident in the Moscow metro's 80-year history "may speed up the launch of the service," a metro official told the newspaper.
Groups of about 10 officers will be posted on every subway line, enabling them to respond to any emergency on the subway "within 15 minutes maximum, and provide aid to victims if necessary," the official was quoted as saying.
After the recent derailment, rescuers arrived at the scene within 17 minutes, according to official accounts.
Passengers Union head Kirill Yankov said that the new service could allow to reduce that time substantially because rescuers would not have to battle Moscow's traffic jams to get to the scene or lug bulky equipment underground, Izvestia reported.
The new metro chief Dmitry Pegov, appointed by the mayor this week to replace the previous director fired in the wake of the incident, told Izvestia that the new management make sure that passengers "don't turn away from us, but are pleased with our work."