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Death toll in Urals tanker truck blast rises to four — authorities

Brake failure is suspected

YEKATERINBURG, July 7. /TASS/. The number of people killed in a fuel truck explosion in the Sverdlovsk Region in Russia’s Urals has risen to four, the administrative head of the nearby city of Krasnoturinsk told TASS on Sunday.

"In total, 11 people were injured when a fuel truck swerved off the road due to a brake failure. People who drove by were injured. Four died, they were near the vehicle," Alexander Ustinov said.

The chief spokesperson for the regional interior ministry department, Valery Gorelykh, told TASS earlier on Sunday that three people were killed and seven were injured in the accident.

"According to preliminary information, the driver of the Ural fuel truck, loaded with about 4.5 tonnes of fuel, headed to the town of Kytlym to refuel heavy equipment for rock excavation. The driver permitted about seven tourists to climb on top of the tank," he said. "The driver lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the road and into a ditch. Upon impact, the truck caught fire and exploded."

He said the majority of victims were identified as local tourists who lived not far from the accident scene.

One of those injured is a teenager born in 2005. He was flown to the regional capital of Yekaterinburg by a medical helicopter, Gorelykh said.

The spokesperson said the driver was practically unharmed and no medical assistance was required for him.

"Police officers established that the driver of the Ural tanker truck was in the state of intoxication at the moment of the accident. This was later confirmed by forensic tests," Gorelykh said, adding that the man’s blood alcohol content was 0.706 permille.