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