A Russian bus and truck carrying gravel collided in a Moscow suburb killing at least 18 and injuring 25 more of the 60 people aboard. The collision occurred in the village of Oznobishin,which is about 40km (25 miles) south of the Russian capital of Moscow.
Photos and video taken at the scene showed the truck lying on its side and the bus broken in two by the impact of the crash.
According to Russian news reports, both drivers were among the injured taken to hospitals. Approximately 30 ambulance crews attended to the victims at the scene, and some of worst injured of the casualties were flown to hospitals by helicopter.
One of the fatalities, reportedly, was a child.
Many of the victims were buried under gravel and had to be dug out before the extent of their injuries could be assessed.
In the words of Petr Biryukov, Moscow’s deputy mayor, the truck had:
…smashed, there’s no other way of putting it, into the bus that was following its route. It flipped over and all the 12 cubic meters of gravel poured into the bus. Rescuers had to extract the dead and the injured under very bad conditions from under the piles of gravel.”
According to Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency, one witness reportedly said that the driver of the truck was speeding and had overtaken several vehicles. It was driving on the wrong side of the road when it crashed into the bus.
Other witnesses reported that many of the passengers on the bus suffered horrific injuries.
An approaching car’s driver shot a video of the scene that’s posted below. Car dashcam footage of the crash shows the truck going out of control at high speed, falling on to its side and crashing into the side of the bus, breaking it in half.
The video of the crash, broadcast on state television, showed the green and white passenger bus’s windows shattering as it split in half, forcing other vehicles on the road to swerve wildly out of its way.
Georgy Golukhov, the head of Moscow’s health department, said that the injuries had been more severe because they were hit by the gravel which was thrown from the lorry’s trailer onto the crash site.
Police officials say the truck driver had a history of causing accidents, being responsible for at least six of them.
The city authorities have declared next Monday a day of mourning for the victims.
Russia’s roads have a notoriously poor safety record, with some 25,000 people killed in crashes each year.
The accident involving the Russian bus getting slammed into by the truck carrying gravel, killing at least 18, points to the need for Russian motorists to drive more carefully.
Written by: Douglas Cobb
Here is the dashcam video of the crash: