Europe

Moscow metro fire sends commuters fleeing from stations

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAmateur video from inside the metro shows commuters being evacuated from a train inside the tunnel

A fire in the Moscow metro has caused travel chaos during the city's rush hour and injured at least 45 people.

A high-voltage electric cable caught fire in a tunnel, filling stations with smoke, Russian officials say.

About 4,500 people were evacuated after the fire broke out near Okhotny Ryad station, near the Kremlin in central Moscow. The blaze was quickly put out.

The affected metro line was temporarily closed. Commuters rushing to work poured into buses and trolleybuses.

Image caption Okhotny Ryad station is one of the busiest in Moscow

One commuter, Alexei Ratnikov, told the Spanish news agency Efe that at about 07:15 (03:15 GMT) "the train stopped and there was a powerful smell of smoke".

A few seconds later he saw fire in the tunnel and "the carriage filled up with smoke, we couldn't breathe - the heat was unbearable".

"People got nervous, but there was no panic", he said, adding that the evacuation lasted about 40 minutes.