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Date Set For Trial Over Bus Fire That Killed 52 Uzbeks In Kazakhstan

Dozens of Uzbek nationals died in the tragic blaze in January. (file photo)

A date has been set for a trial over a bus fire that killed 52 Uzbek nationals in Kazakhstan in January.

The Aqtobe Regional Court in Kazakhstan’s northwest said on July 16 that the trial will start on July 20 at the Yrghyz District Court.

Three drivers who survived the fire and two representatives of Asia Transit Service company will go on trial.

The five defendants, all Kazakh citizens, have been charged with abuse of office, use of a technically unfit vehicle for commercial purposes, and forgery.

The accident occurred in the Yrghyz district on January 18 as the bus was traveling from Kazakhstan’s southern city of Shymkent to the Russian city of Samara.

Kazakh officials said earlier that the cause of the deadly bus fire was an open flame on a portable gas cooker that was being used for heating inside the vehicle.

The officials also said earlier that the bus was a 29-year-old German-built Setra that did not have a license to transport passengers and its technical safety certificate had expired in 2016.

Many people from Uzbekistan travel to Russia as migrant workers, and the long routes pass through Kazakhstan.

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