Sixty people were injured when a Moscow-St.Petersburg passenger train derailed in the Novgorod region. Twenty passengers have been hospitalized, the press service of Russian Railways reported.
There were no fatalities, preliminary reports said.
"Sixty people sought medical assistance; of those 20 were rushed to hospitals of Veliky Novgorod," a Russian Railways official said.
The official said 231 tickets on the Nevsky Express high speed train were sold on Monday. There were also 20 attendance personnel on the train.
Spokesman for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Viktor Beltsov said the incident occurred at 21:43, Moscow time, at the 179th kilometer of the Oktyabrskaya Railway near Malaya Vishera.
Four of the 12 carriages of the high-speed Nevsky Express derailed, but they did not overturn.
"Smoke began to billow, but the nidus of fire was promptly extinguished," Beltsov said.
Spokesman for the regional emergencies department Vasily Kruglov said "the carriage coupling remained unsevered, but carriages tilted."
But Alexander Pirkov, an aide to the Russian Railways president, said in a live broadcast by a television company that 12 cars and electric locomotive had derailed.
Meanwhile, Russian Railways said the incident in the Novgorod region occurred "as a result of external impact, Itar-Tass reports
"As a result of external impact, several carriages of passenger train # 166 Moscow-St Petersburg derailed at the Burga-Malaya Vishra stretch at 21:38, Moscow time," according to the company's official press release received by Itar-Tass.
Russian Railways told RIA-Novosti that the train driver heard a loud bang immediately before some cars went off the tracks around 9:45 p.m. near the city of Novgorod, about 300 miles northwest of Moscow.
Trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia's biggest cities, will detour around the accident site, causing a six-hour delay for passengers, the company said.
Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin cut short a business trip in Siberia after the accident, and was on his way to the site, the company said.
Russian Railways operates 80,000 kilometers (50,000 miles) of track across 11 time zones, enough to circle the Earth twice, Bloomberg reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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