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PARIS, January 19 (Itar-Tass) - One of the Russian tourists injured in a bus accident in southeastern France has been operated on, a source at the Russian Embassy in Paris told Itar-Tass.
"According to our information, 20 people were injured," the diplomat said. Eight are in a hospital in Grenoble, and 12 are in Chambery. Two are in grave condition. One has been operated on. Local medical sources say that three of the patients must remain in hospital, but the rest can be discharged soon.
A Savoie prefecture press service source told Itar-Tass earlier that 23 people were injured in the bus accident. They were taken to hospital.
The bus was carrying 44 Russian tourists. They were on the way from a ski resort to Grenoble airport, he said. According to the source, the road conditions were very bad. The driver lost control of the bus, and it fell on its side. Nobody died in the accident.
"Twenty three people were injured. Twenty of them received slight injuries. All were taken to hospital. Three were seriously injured, but there is no threat to their lives," the prefecture source said. Authorities sent a translator to the hospital.
The Russian embassy in France immediately contacted French authorities in connection with the accident, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
A Russian consulate representative went to the site. The Russian Foreign Ministry, together with the embassy, stays in contact with French authorities to help the Russian citizens. An operational headquarters is set up in the Russian diplomatic representative office in France.
Executives of the travel agency flew out for France to help the Russian tourists, Rostourism federal agency press service head Irina Shchegolkova said. All the tourists were insured, she noted. According to her, the Russian Emergencies Ministry already said it was ready to send a plane if necessary to take the tourists back to Russia for treatment.
According to the preliminary reports, the accident was caused by bad weather conditions.
Due to the snowfalls and freezing rain, dozens of traffic accidents occurred in the country last Friday. Five people died and at least 12 were injured in two accidents in southern France. The country's authorities recommended people not to go by personal transport in the next few days.
Heavy precipitation is expected in northeastern and southern areas of France this Saturday, the national Meteo France service warned.
The tensest situation is expected in five regions -- the central region, Burgundy, Franche-Comte, Lorraine and Alsace, where it will continue snowing heavily. Meteorologists warn about icy conditions on roads.
Heavy snowfalls hit the capital's region and southern areas overnight.
Public transport traffic was paralyzed in Paris because of snow. Local road services were not ready for such a situation. Many roads in Paris remained covered with snow. It was hard for cars and pedestrians to move.