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Rush hour train fire on Stockholm metro

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12:37 CEST+02:00
Ten people have been taken to hospital after a train on Stockholm's underground metro caught fire. The fire started at eight o'clock on Monday morning as the train pulled in to Rinkeby station, in the capital's north-west suburbs. Police say that arson is a possible cause of the blaze.

The fire started while the train was moving. Witnesses say they heard two loud bangs as the train travelled between Duvbo and Rissne stations. By the time the train arrived at Rinkeby station a powerful fire had started in one of the carriages, producing lots of white smoke.

When the fire brigade arrived on the scene, the square outside Rinkeby station was clouded in smoke, and the area was sealed off by police.

Thick smoke prevented three people from exiting the station, and they escaped the blaze by walking through the tunnel to Rissne station. Other passengers were treated by ambulance crews outside Rinkeby station. Police say that they have checked the station and tunnels and are confident that all passengers and staff managed to escape.

Carl-Johan Svensson, leading the emergency services operations at the scene, said the fire was difficult to put out, and the first attempt to extinguish it failed. At 9.40 the fire brigade reported that the fire had been put out.

The cause of the fire is currently unclear, although a police spokesman said that the fact that passengers reported hearing two bangs could point to arson.

“Our technicians are going to investigate whether it was sabotage, or whether the fire could have been caused by a technical fault,” police spokesman Towe Hägg told The Local.

The train was travelling away from the city centre when the fire broke out. Had it been going in the other direction, it is possible that many more people would have been affected.

Stockholm Transport (SL) says that buses will replace trains on the affected stretch of track for the rest of the day, and that Rinkeby station will be closed until further notice.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet, Sveriges Radio

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