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Russia

Moscow subway fire forces thousands to evacuate

A fire in the Moscow underground has brought the capital's subway traffic to a standstill. Authorities evacuated thousands after the fire broke out near a station downtown.

At least 4,500 people were evacuated from the Moscow subway on Wednesday morning, according to Russia media citing emergency officials.

A blaze broke out during morning rush hour when a power cable caught fire on one of the Metro's central lines between Okhotny Ryad station - which is located close to the Kremlin - and the Lenin Library stop.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire soon thereafter.

Trains began running regularly around midday local time.

Dozens were reportedly injured on Wednesday morning. At least 45 people sought medical attention for smoke inhalation and at least seven were hospitalized following the mass evacuation.

The Moscow Metro, one of the world's busiest underground systems, rarely closes its lines for technical problems.

kms/mz (AFP, dpa)