At least 16 killed as train hits bus in Russia

In this video grab provided by the RU-RTR Russian television via APTN, Russian Emergency Situation employees work at the scene of a derailment at a railway crossing near in the town of Pokrov, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, on October 6, 2017. (RU-RTR Russian Television/APTN via AP)
Updated 06 October 2017
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At least 16 killed as train hits bus in Russia

MOSCOW: At least 16 people were killed on Friday when a train slammed into a bus that had broken down on a level crossing east of Moscow, authorities said.
Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that 19 Uzbek citizens had died in the crash, but Russia’s Investigative Committee reported a lower figure.
The accident occurred before dawn on Friday near the town of Pokrov, some 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of the Russian capital.
“According to preliminary information, 16 people, including a child, have been killed,” the Investigative Committee said.
“Other passengers, including minors, have been taken to hospital with various injuries. The number of dead and injured is being ascertained,” it said, confirming it had opened an investigation.
The regional interior ministry said the bus broke down on the level crossing.
The train, traveling at 90 kilometers per hour from the second city of Saint Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow, slammed into the bus at 3:29 am (0029 GMT) on Friday.
The train was 400 meters away from the crossing when the driver slammed on emergency brakes and sounded a warning alarm, but it was not able to stop before it hit the vehicle, Russian Railways said.
All of those killed were on the bus, which was carrying 58 people, 56 of them Uzbek nationals.
The remaining two were drivers from Kazakhstan.
“There are no victims among the train passengers,” the interior ministry said.
Images from the scene showed the white Mercedes bus had been almost completely torn apart with most of its roof ripped off and debris scattered across the tracks.
The Uzbek ambassador to Russia was on his way to the scene along with other staff from the embassy, it said.
A team of experts were flying to the region to offer assistance, it added.
The foreign ministry of neighboring Kazakhstan confirmed the two bus drivers, one of whom was killed, were Kazakh nationals.
The train continued on its route at around 11:00 am local time.
The collision appears to be Russia’s most deadly accident involving a train since 2006 when 22 people were killed when a train struck a bus at an unprotected crossing in the southern Krasnodar region.
In 1996, a train hit a school bus in the area of the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, killing 21 children and injuring 19 others. The driver was unable to see the bus early enough to brake because of a heavy fog.
Russia’s road accident mortality rate is extremely high, although it has been declining over the past few years.
Some 20,000 people died in car crashes in Russia in 2016.
Seventeen people were killed in August when a bus carrying construction workers veered off a pier and plunged into the Black Sea.


Japan heatwave kills over a dozen, 12,000 rushed to hospital

Updated 42 min 56 sec ago
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Japan heatwave kills over a dozen, 12,000 rushed to hospital

  • More than 9,900 people were rushed to hospital during the week to mid-July
  • Kyodo News agency reported that at least 11 people, mostly elderly citizens, died on Saturday

TOKYO: Japan’s severe heatwave killed at least 15 people and sent more than 12,000 to hospital in the first two weeks of July, official figures show as the temperature neared 40 degrees C (104 F) in many cities on Sunday.
Twelve people died of heatstroke in the week ending July 15 after three perished in the preceding week, according to latest data.
More than 9,900 people were rushed to hospital during the week to mid-July, jumping from 2,700 in the previous week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
The scorching weather shows no signs of easing.
Kyodo News agency reported that at least 11 people, mostly elderly citizens, died on Saturday alone from suspected heatstroke.
A total of 3,091 ambulances were dispatched in Tokyo on Saturday, a record for a single day, it said.
The weather agency said Sunday’s temperatures exceeded 35 degrees C at 233 observation points across the nation by mid-afternoon.
It hit a local record of 39.8 degrees C in the central city of Gujo Sunday afternoon, while in some parts of Tokyo the temperature rose past 37 degrees.
The weather agency issued a warning of extraordinary high temperatures for most regions of Japan’s main island.
“Risks of heatstrokes are particularly high,” it said, urging citizens to drink enough water and use curtains and air conditioning.
The education ministry has told schools to postpone outdoor activities on hot days. A six-year-old boy died of heatstroke last week after a school outing in sweltering weather.