Wednesday, 28 October 2015

20 years ago today - the world's deadliest subway disaster

It was 20 years ago today…..the world’s deadliest subway fire killed at least 289 people on the Baku Metro in Azerbaijan, as fire broke out on a train between two stations during the Saturday evening rush hour on 28 October 1995.

As smoke appeared in one of the five carriages, the lights went out, and the train came to a standstill. Passengers tried to get out of the coaches, but a set of doors jammed, and some were poisoned by fumes from burning fittings.

The driver had reported the incident and asked for the power to be switched off, but a number of people were electrocuted as they grabbed cables in an effort to escape. Among the dead were 28 children.

A government inquiry concluded that the fire was caused by an electrical fault, and two metro officials were sent to gaol, but others believed the real cause might have been a terrorist bomb. Incidentally, the Baku Metro, like the one in Moscow, is something of an architectural showpiece (see picture).

*For more, see A Disastrous History of the World.

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