At least 16 killed as train slams into bro­ken-down bus on level cross­ing

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

AT least 16 peo­ple were killed yes­ter­day when a train slammed into a bus that had bro­ken down on a level cross­ing east of Moscow, author­i­ties said.

The col­li­sion oc­curred be­fore dawn near the town of Pokrov, some 110km from the Rus­sian cap­i­tal.

“Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion, 16 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a child, have been killed,” Rus­sia’s In­ves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee said.

“Other pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing mi­nors, have been taken to hos­pi­tal with var­i­ous in­juries. The num­ber of dead and in­jured is be­ing as­cer­tained,” the com­mit­tee said, con­firm­ing it had opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The re­gional in­te­rior min­istry said the bus had bro­ken down on the level cross­ing.

Uzbek­istan’s for­eign min­istry said 19 Uzbek na­tion­als died in the crash, de­spite the in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee re­port­ing a lower fig­ure.

The train, trav­el­ling at 90km/h from Saint Peters­burg to Nizhny Nov­gorod, east of Moscow, slammed into the bus.The train had been 400 me­tres away from the cross­ing when the driver slammed on emer­gency brakes and sounded a warn­ing alarm, but it had not been able to stop be­fore it hit the ve­hi­cle, Rus­sian Rail­ways said.

All of those killed were on the bus, which was car­ry­ing 58 peo­ple, 56 of them Uzbek na­tion­als.

The re­main­ing two were driv­ers from Kaza­khstan.

“There are no vic­tims among the train pas­sen­gers,” the in­te­rior min­istry said.

Im­ages from the scene showed the white Mercedes bus had been al­most com­pletely torn apart, with most of its roof ripped off and de­bris scat­tered across the tracks.

The train-bus col­li­sion ap­pears to be Rus­sia’s most deadly ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a train since 2006, when 22 peo­ple were killed when a train struck a bus at an un­pro­tected cross­ing in the south­ern Krasnodar re­gion. – AFP

PHO­TO­GRAPH: REUTERS

COM­MEM­O­RAT­ING VIC­TIMS: Greg Za­nis of Chicago, Illi­nois, works on one of the 58 white crosses he set up for the vic­tims of the Route 91 mu­sic fes­ti­val mass shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas in the US this week

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