Bus carrying children overturns in Babyninsky, Russia; at least seven die

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A bus carrying children from Smolensk to Kaluga on Sunday overturned in Babyninsky, Russia. At least seven, including four children, died.

At least 45 were aboard, with occupants trapped for hours at the snowy roadside in the upended vehicle until rescuers extracted them from the scene. Police have opened a criminal case against the driver and detained him for questioning. The occupants were going to a dance competition, according to the mayor of Yartsevo via news agency Interfax. Local officials said 24 people have been hospitalised, but Agence France-Presse reported as many as 32 hospitalised.

The Emergency Situations Ministry stated all occupants were from Smolensk. Officials said most of the injured were minors. Russia suffers one of the highest death tolls from road accidents in the world, reportedly 18.9 deaths per 100,000 people per year; this is lower than previous years. The Emergencies Ministry has, in a statement, called on drivers to "not forget that the health and lives of other people depend on you." It also urged people to "comply with the established rules of behaviour on the road."

The Emergency Situations Ministry further indicated no additional vehicles were involved and suggested the driver lost control and left the road. The cause of the accident was not known. Dozens of occupants required extricated.