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Day Of Mourning For Those Killed In Russia Bus Crash


Emergency personnel at the site where the bus crashed into the frozen river.

A day of mourning has been declared on December 2 for the 19 people who were killed in the previous day's bus crash in Russia's Transbaikal region.

A day of mourning was also declared by the municipal administration of the Sretensk district.

"According to updated information, 19 people died, 21 have various injuries," the local government for the Zabaikalsk region said.

Andrei Gurulev, the region's acting deputy governor, said the bodies of all 19 people who died were taken to the central hospital in the town of Sretensk and that the identities of 16 victims had been confirmed.

Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that the company that operated the bus had offered services that do not comply with safety requirements -- potentially resulting in negligent deaths.

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said the bus, travelling from the town of Sretensk to the city of Chita fell from a bridge into the Kuenga River shortly before 10 a.m. Moscow time.

It said about 43 passengers and a driver were on the bus.

Russia's record on road safety is one of the worst in the world.

According to figures released by the country's traffic police, 18,214 people died in road accidents last year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and TASS