7 people hospitalized after Moscow subway fire

7 people hospitalized after Moscow subway fire

MOSCOW - The Associated Press
7 people hospitalized after Moscow subway fire

Passengers seek alternative routes at the Leningrad and Yaroslav railway stations after a line on the city's metro closed due to a fire June 5, 2013. Seven people were hospitalised and over 4,000 people were evacuated following the closure, local media reported. REUTERS/Alexander Sayganov

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

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

The ministry said more than 45 people sought medical help and seven were hospitalized. Most of them suffered from smoke inhalation. Thousands were evacuated.

As firefighters were putting out the fire, authorities closed one of the subway lines that cuts through central Moscow. Eyewitnesses say central Moscow streets were thronged with crowds who ended up walking to work.

The subway is an essential transport link, serving up to 7 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.