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Conductor throws schoolgirl off bus into bitter arctic cold

Investigative authorities have launched a probe

KEMEROVO, January 24. /TASS/. Investigative authorities in the Russian city of Novokuznetsk, in the Kemerovo Region, have launched a probe into reports about a conductor tossing an 11-year-old girl off the bus into the freezing cold after the child had failed to pay for her ride, the regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on Wednesday.

"There have been reports that a bus conductor in Novokuznetsk made an 11-year-old girl leave the bus while the temperature outside was minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit). A pre-investigation probe has been launched," the statement reads.

A source in the Novokuznetsk City Administration told TASS that the incident involving a private carrier bus had taken place on Tuesday night. "The conductor’s transport payment card failed so she asked the girl to leave the bus. The girl does not remember the number of the bus. Later in the day, we will convene a meeting of carrier companies to get to the bottom of this incident," the source vowed, reassuring that the girl was "alive and well."

Meanwhile, sources in the regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee told TASS that the inquiry was aimed at finding out whether the child’s health had been damaged in any way.

A weather warning concerning freezing temperatures of up to minus 35 degrees Celsius has been in effect in the Kemerovo Region since January 20. In some areas, thermometers have dropped below the minus 40 degrees Celsius mark.