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Train Derailment Blocks Trans-Siberian Railway, Sparks Forest Fire

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Traffic along the Trans-Siberian Railway was partially disrupted on Friday after a cargo train flew off the tracks, crashing into trees and setting a nearby forest on fire, the local rail operator said.

A total of 29 cars carrying coal were derailed at 2:30 p.m. local time in Far East Russia’s Amur region, causing damage to electrical lines, police investigators said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.

“Railway traffic is temporarily suspended along the stretch,” the local subsidiary of the state-owned Russian Railways said, referring to route between the villages of Seletkan and Ledyanaya, around 170 kilometers north of the regional capital Blagoveshchensk.

A video posted to social media showed upturned train cars, as well as a nearby forest burning in smoke and flames.

Police launched a criminal investigation into safety violations and said they were looking into the cause of the derailment. Authorities did not say whether they suspected foul play was to blame.

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