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Twenty-five people are dead and 87 injured after a Russian train crashed in what officials said could have been an act of terrorism.
Four carriages of the luxury train travelling from Moscow to St Petersburg were derailed at 9:30pm local time near the town of Bologoye, 350 kilometres from Moscow.
"A one metre-diameter hole has been found next to the railway track," Interfax news agency said, quoting an unnamed source in Moscow's law enforcement agencies.
" Witnesses heard a loud slap before the accident. All of this could point to a possible act of terrorism."
Earlier Russian news agencies quoted transport officials as saying the cause may have been an electrical fault.
President Dmitry Medvedev was immediately informed about the accident and Russian railways chief Vladimir Yakunin rushed to the scene.
A Kremlin spokesman said Mr Medvedev spoke to Mr Yakunin.
"The head of the state told the director of federal security service Alexander Bortnikov and Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika to take all necessary steps to investigate the accident," the spokesman said.
In 2007, 30 people were injured when the same Nevsky Express train was derailed after an explosion damaged rails.
A group of suspects are now being tried for that attack in the north-western city of Novgorod.
They are suspected of links to a leading Chechen rebels, Doku Umarov.
Once frequent attacks in Russia have declined dramatically since Moscow largely subdued an Islamist insurgency in the troubled North Caucasus province of Chechnya.
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