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Train Hits Bus Carrying Uzbek Passengers In Russia, Killing At Least 16


The wreckage of a passenger bus is seen after it was hit by a train at a crossing near the town of Pokrov, in Russia's Vladimir region, on October 6.

A train has slammed into a bus carrying dozens of Uzbek passengers at a railway crossing east of Moscow, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

Regional police said the collision occurred at around 3:30 a.m. (0030 GMT/UTC) on October 6 near a train station close to the city of Vladimir, which is 190 kilometers east of the capital.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Anuar Zhainakov said the bus, which reportedly had Kazakh license plates, was carrying 55 Uzbek passengers and two Kazakh drivers.

One of the drivers was among the dead, Zhainakov said on Facebook.

The Russian Investigative Committee at one point said that at least 19 people were killed but later put the toll at 16, including one child.

It said that other passengers were hospitalized and that the casualty count could change.

The regional Interior Ministry branch said the bus driver was trying to cross the tracks despite a red light.

The spokeswoman, Rita Shlyakhova, said that the bus broke down on the railroad crossing and that most of the passengers were asleep at the time.

"The driver yelled, and 34 people jumped out of the bus to push it," RIA Novosti quoted Shlyakhova as saying. "They survived. Those who stayed in the bus died. It was literally torn apart."

Photographs showed the badly mangled white bus, its front section totally destroyed, and debris strewn across the tracks.

Officials said its passengers were returning to Uzbekistan from the Moscow region when the crash occurred.

Many people from Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics in Central Asia come to Russia to look for work.

Police said nobody aboard the train, which was traveling from St. Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod, was killed.

Road accidents are common in Russia and death rates are high.

A bus carrying construction workers plunged off a pier in southern Russia on August 25, killing 19 people.

With reporting by TASS, Interfax, RIA Novosti, and dpa
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