Mink Machine

Plane crash on Trans-Siberian

I shared cabin with a Russian couple on a night train from Helsinki to Moscow earlier this week. They told me that a plane had crashed near Perm with 80 dead and some damage done to the Trans-Siberian railway. Since I was about to embark on the Trans-Siberian a few days later and pass the city of Perm, I was curious on how this would effect my journey.

But being on a train, the only source of information was my fellow passengers and the radio in Russian. The friendly Russians translated the radio broadcast for me and told me what had happened.

I then went to the restaurant car of the train and had a beer with a Russian man who explained further that a member of the presidential staff was among the casualties. He also said that there already was ten different versions on what had caused the accident.

Trans-Siberian railway On the Trans-Siberian railway.

It struck me once again how vulnerable you are when you travel in a country where you cannot read the alphabet or speak the language. If a big event happens, the circulation of rumors are inevitable. I think back on the chaos during the World Trade center attack in New York, where there was a lot of rumors before the facts slowly started to emerge. I also remember being in Boston during the riots in my home town Gothenburg, where all I got was small bits of information.

Update: Heard something about the crash sending rail flying for 50 meters up in the air. Could be trouble for us after all.

Update 2: The rail seems to be fixed now. Next stop: Ulaan Baatar. Da svidaniya!

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