A horrific crash near Moscow this morning ended the lives of 19 people. The unfortunate accident happened when a bus broke down at a level crossing and a train arrived that slammed straight into it.
According to the first reports reaching us, nineteen people were killed and twenty wounded. The bus was carrying mainly migrant workers from Uzbekistan to central Russia
A spokesman for the Russian railways, Mr Vladimir Myagkov told local news station Rossiya 24: “The bus stalled on the track. Some people say the passengers tried to push the bus off the track. At that moment the train approached and a collision occurred.”
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Though there are no videos yet of the moment of impact, it is clear from the images taken afterwards that the bus was totally wrecked, its steel roof pressed into the seats. The train however has no visible damage at all, or very little.
The bus was registered in Kazakhstan and carried migrant workers from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan through Russia.
Russia’s transport system has a very bad reputation when it comes to crashes.
The number of dead varies widely, with Reuters stating that 16 lives have perished whilst local Russian media putting the death count already as high as 19.
The Regional governor’s press secretary, Ms Rita Shlyakhtina, claims the bus driver did everything possible to avoid a last minute collision: “People inside the bus were sleeping, there were 50 of them. The driver shouted and 34 people ran out of the bus to push it. They survived. Those who remained in the bus died. It got literally torn apart.”
Moscow’s railway authority provided further details on the incident: “Tonight, at 3:39 a.m. a bus was passing a railway crossing near the Pokrov station when the engine stalled.”