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YEKATERINBURG, December 4. /TASS/. The Russian emergencies ministry’s Khanty-Mansyisk department has confirmed the death of 12 people in a road accident involving a passenger bus and a truck near the city of Khanty-Mansyisk on Sunday.
"According to various sources, the death toll from the accident is 12. It is not yet clear how many children were among the accident victims. As for those injured, they are being examined by medics," a spokesman for the department told TASS.
"A commuter bus was on its way from Khanty-Mansyisk to Nefteyugansk when it broke away from its lane to be rammed by a truck. As a result, eight people, including six children, died instantly. Information about those injured is being verified," a police spokesman told TASS earlier.
According to the latest reports, twenty-two people were injured. According to preliminary information, 29 out of 32 passengers of the bus were children.
The press service of the local government said the bus was carrying a children’s acrobatics team.
Chief of Russia’s traffic police Viktor Nilov has set off for the accident site. Russia’s Investigations Committee has opened a criminal case over the accident. The Committee’s Spokeswoman, Sevtlana Petrenko told TASS the criminal case was initiated on charges of traffic rules violation resulting in the death of two or more people and offering service of not meeting safety requirement.
"Investigators are inclined to think that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle," she said, adding that other factors are poor visibility and unfavorable weather conditions. "However, investigators have already established that the transfer of children had not been properly organized as the bus was not accompanied by traffic police," she said.