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Two dead, five Russians in heavy condition after bus crash in India

June 10, 2014, 18:22 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)

The bus carrying 13 Russians fell into a river in Uttarakhand

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NEW DELHI, June 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Five Russians injured in a bus crash in northern India are in heavy condition in hospital, while other five were injured not so severely, according to a local police official.

All the injured people were taken to hospitals in the city of Dehradun, the state of Uttarakhand. Five Russians and the bus driver were in heavy condition. Other five received slighter injuries, he said.

Two Russians died in a bus crash in northern India, and one, supposedly a Russian citizen, was missing, the head of the Rostourism federal agency's press service Irina Shchegolkova told ITAR-TASS.

There was no official information yet, but it was expected in one-two hours, she noted.

"According to the preliminary information we have received from our embassy in India, two Russians died and one is missing, supposedly also a citizen of Russia. Other 12 people were injured. They were taken to a hospital. They are being identified," she said.

The Russian citizen missing after the bus crash in northern India was not found, and the search was suspended until Wednesday, June 11, a local police official said on Tuesday.

The search was suspended because of a strong stream. The military would join the search in the morning on June 11, the official added.

None of Russian tour operators has confirmed that their tourists were in the bus, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Tour Operators Irina Tyurina told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

The union immediately contacted tour companies that send tourists to India, and none of them confirmed tourists from Russia were in the bus, she said, noting that the bus accident occurred at the foothills of the Himalayas, where two of seven holy cities of Hinduism are located. "Pilgrims actively travel to the sites independently," she said.

Tour operators said they sometimes sent tourists to the sites on individual tours. The group which was in the bus was large. Most likely, the people were independent pilgrims, the press secretary supposed.

The executive director of the Russian Association of Tour Operators Maya Lomidze told ITAR-TASS that supposedly the victims were pilgrims. "We cannot confirm that Russian tourists were in the bus. We have no such information. We know that there were 42 passenger seats in the bus, but there were more passengers in it," Lomidze said.

"Supposedly pilgrims, but not organized tourists, were in the bus. There is information that almost all died," she said.

The electronic version of the India Today journal reported on Tuesday that a bus carrying Russian tourists fell into the Bhagirathi River in northern India. The Russian Embassy in India did not confirm the information. "We are checking the information," a source in the consulate told ITAR-TASS.

The Rostourism federal agency did not confirm the information either. "We know there is such information, but cannot confirm anything so far, as there is no official report," the head of the press service of the agency Irina Shhegolkova told ITAR-TASS earlier. "Rostourism now is inquiring about all the details of the accident and will inform about the situation."

An Indian police official told an ITAR-TASS correspondent that two Russians died and eleven were injured in the bus crash and one was missing. The injured people were airlifted by a helicopter to a nearest hospital.

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