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Three killed, 44 injured in bus accident near Novorossiysk

41 passengers are hospitalized, five are in serious condition

MOSCOW, August 8. / TASS /. Three people, including a child were killed in an accident near Novorossiysk as a result of a head-on collision that sent a bus and passenger vehicle off a cliff, the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS on Thursday. "Of the 45 people who were in the bus and car, 28 were hospitalized, 3 were killed, 14 people were treated on the scene," the agency’s source said.

According to the press service of the Krasnodar Region's Ministry of Internal Affairs, the woman and two children who died as a result of the accident were passengers of the car that collided with the bus. "All those killed were car passengers — a woman, and two minors. The driver of a Volkswagen Touareg born in 1974 was hospitalized in a mildly serious condition," the press service stated.

The number of people hospitalized is up to 41, five are in serious condition, the Novorossiysk Deputy Mayor Natalia Mayorova told TASS on Thursday. Previously, the number was reported at 27. "There are 31 people in our hospital, among them children. Five are in serious condition," Mayorova stated.

The bus driver survived. Following examination, he was found to be sober, the press service of the Krasnodar Region's Ministry of Internal Affairs told TASS. 

"The bus driver survived, he underwent medical examination, as a result of which no alcohol was found in his blood," the agency’s source said. The driver of the passenger car also survived the accident. "Both drivers are alive: both of the car and the bus. The accident happened right near the traffic police post at the bend to Anapa near Verkhnebakansky," Novorossiysk Mayor Igor Dyachenko told TASS.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case. "The Novorossiysk Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case into the traffic accident involving a Volkswagen-Touareg car and a Hyundai passenger bus on the Novorossiysk-Kerch highway on the grounds of the violation of Article 264, paragraph 5 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Violation of the traffic rules and operation of vehicles, resulting in the negligent death of one or more people).

On Wednesday, around 22:20 Moscow time, on the 16th kilometer of the Novorossiysk-Kerch Strait highway, a head-on collision occurred between a Volkswagen Touareg and a Hyundai bus, which sent both vehicles tumbling down the cliff, approximately 30 meters.