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At least 12 dead in bus crash horror in TransBaikal region 

By The Siberian Times reporter
12 June 2017

The vehicle with Orthodox pilgrims on board flipped into a ditch and overturned down an embankment, falling 'the height of a 5 storey building’.

It overturned on the road between the cities of Irkutsk and Chita, as pilgrims were returning from a visit to a sacred monastery. Picture: NTV

The bus was carrying 51 people, with 12 killed in the tragedy early Monday, and the rest all suffering injuries. 

It overturned on the road between the cities of Irkutsk and Chita, as pilgrims were returning from a visit to a sacred monastery. The bus then rolled down an embankment. 

A video from the scene showed bodies lying on the ground at the crash site. 

The injured were rushed to local hospitals in the TransBaikal region. 

Bus crash


Bus crash


Bus crash

The bus was carrying 51 people, with 12 killed in the tragedy early Monday, and the rest all suffering injuries. Pictures: NTV, Tvcom

One woman said: 'I have a pelvic injury and a fractured collarbone. I realise... it is a miracle that I'm alive. I'm all shaking and it is painful to move. 

'I didn't see from which height we fell, but I was told it was the height of a five storey house. It was scary. The driver lost control over the bus.'

It is the latest of many major bus tragedies in Siberia, and came on a holiday weekend in Russia. Today - 12 June - is Russia Day, marking the country's emergence from the Soviet Union. 

The injured were rushed to local hospitals in the TransBaikal region. Video: Tvcom

Police have opened a formal investigation into the horror some 7 kilometres west of the Khokhotui settlement. District administration head Andrei Kuznetsov said road works were underway at the place where the accident happened.

The bus had been carrying pilgrims travelling home after taking part in a sacred procession to Varlaam's monastery in Urluk .

The identities of the first three victims killed in the crash were all women - Anna Novak, 28, S Maslennikova, 44 and O Raspopova, 45.

Bus crash


Bus crash

'I didn't see from which height we fell, but I was told it was the height of a five storey house. Pictures: Tvcom

Three teenage girls were among the passengers. Two of them - aged 15 and 17 - are identified as being in a 'hard condition' in hospital.

In 2016, more than 20,000 people died in Russian road accidents,  a 12% fall compared to 2015.

In December, a dozen people from Nefteyugansk  - including ten children - were killed in a bus crash in Khanty-Mansi region.

In August 2015, 16 were killed and dozens injured in a bus crash on a highway linking Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

A month earlier, 11 were killed and nine injured in a bus smash in Krasnoyarsk region. 

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