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Crimea Railway Blast Derails Russian Train – Reports


A Russian freight train carrying grain derailed in annexed Crimea early Thursday in what some media accounts described as an explosion.

According to the Baza Telegram channel, which is believed to have links to Russia’s law enforcement agencies, five railroad cars tipped over at around 8:00 a.m. Moscow time near the south-central Crimean city of Simferopol.

Crimea's pro-Russian transport minister later said eight train cars were derailed.

Photographs published by Baza showed at least two cars lying on their sides next to a severed railroad track.

Crimea’s Russian-installed Governor Sergei Aksyonov said there were no casualties in the incident.

He added that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was investigating the causes of the derailment.

Neither Aksyonov nor Russian state media mentioned explosives in describing the latest incident.

Crimean Railways said in a statement the derailment was caused by “interference from outside persons.” 

In early May, two freight trains derailed in Russian regions bordering Ukraine due to explosive devices on the tracks.

Though several acts of sabotage have been reported on Russian railways since Moscow launched its Ukraine offensive, this month was the first time officials confirmed attacks on this scale. 

Thursday's apparent railway blast comes a day after Russia and Ukraine agreed to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which ensures continued supplies of Ukrainian grain to the world market, for another two months.

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