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Dozens hurt in Russia subway fire

A rush-hour fire in Moscow's subway has injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands of commuters and closed parts of the network, authorities said.

The blaze started after a power cable caught fire in a tunnel leading to the Okhotny Ryad station adjacent to Red Square, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The ministry said more than 45 people sought medical help and seven were taken to hospital, most of them suffering from smoke inhalation. Thousands of people were evacuated.

As firefighters were putting out the fire, authorities closed one of the subway lines that cuts through central Moscow.

Witnesses say central Moscow streets were thronged with crowds who ended up walking to work.

The subway resumed regular service by noon Moscow time, but half an hour later officials again shut part of the line after they found a smouldering cable in another tunnel next to the Okhotny Ryad station.

Moscow's subway is an essential transport link, serving up to seven million people a day. Station or line closures are highly unusual for the network, which has the reputation of being the city's most reliable means of transport.

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