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Ukraine railroad blown up, Russian train derailed (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published time: June 23, 2014 03:42
Edited time: June 23, 2014 08:22

The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

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The railroad tracks in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region have been blown up as a freight train belonging to Russian Railways was passing by. Fourteen freight cars were derailed in what railroad staff believe was a planned explosion.

The blast happened Sunday evening, damaging the railroad tracks on a stretch between the Donetsk Region towns of Ilovaisk and Kuteinikovo, in eastern Ukraine, Russian Railways said in a statement.

The blast happened after the train passed a mined area. The blast was so strong that 14 cargo cars were derailed.

“We were moving from Ilovaisk to Martsevo [Rostov Region, Russia]. At the 1,168-kilometer mark, we heard a sharp clap similar to an explosion,” Maksim Ustinov, the train driver, told Life News. “When we stopped the train, we saw that the freight cars were derailed.”

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The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

According to Russian Railways, the locomotive crew of the North Caucasian railway was not affected in the accident.

Meanwhile, personnel from Russian Railways believe the blast was planned. The explosive device was apparently prepared for several days and it might have taken several hours to fix the bomb.

“During further inspection of the train I found some wires running from trees to the railway tracks, the explosion site was resembling a crater,” Ustinov said.

The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

The tracks are now being repaired by Ukrainian Railways staff, while trains have been redirected.

In the meantime, another blast occurred on the Ilovajsk-Mospino stretch, in the Donetsk Region, Ukrainian Railways said in a statement. Three railway sleepers and several were damaged in the blast.

The circumstances of the incidents are being investigated, the Ukrainian company said.

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The town of Ilovaisk is located 47 kilometers from the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has launched a massive military operation. The troops are using heavy weaponry, airplanes, choppers and armored vehicles in the eastern regions of the country, in an effort to defeat anti-government forces demanding federalization. The vast majority (over 90 percent) of Donetsk and Lugansk regions’ populations voted for self-rule in May referendums.

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The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

The town of Ilovaisk is located 47 kilometers from the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has launched a massive military operation. The troops are using heavy weaponry, airplanes, choppers and armored vehicles in the eastern regions of the country, in an effort to defeat anti-government forces demanding federalization. The vast majority (over 90 percent) of Donetsk and Lugansk regions’ populations voted for self-rule in May referendums.

According to the latest UN report, at least 356 people, including 257 civilians, have been killed in the violence since the beginning of the “anti-terrorist” military campaign in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

The Donetsk Region, Ukraine, June 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)