. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mystery Shrouds Train Derailing

ST. PETERSBURG -- One of the main Moscow-St. Petersburg trains has been derailed and major casualties were only avoided because it had been slowed by a warning light, railway officials said Thursday.


The accident, which happened Tuesday about 250 kilometers southeast of St. Petersburg, led to speculation that the accident could have been caused by "the Mole." A man using that nickname left a bomb in Baltiisky Station last week and threatened to attack trains carrying foreigners unless his demands were met.


Leonid Novikov of the October Railway press office said the day train was diverted from its tracks about halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg because a piece of equipment used to connect the rails had been removed.


Police spokesman Oleg Kiselyov, however, said he didn't think the accident had any relation to the Mole.


"I think it was theft of a railroad track detail rather than sabotage ... If it were the Mole, he would have announced it himself," Kiselyov said.