At least 18 people are dead and 25 injured after a large truck and a passenger bus collided in a Moscow suburb Saturday. The crash occurred when a truck carrying pavement stones turned into the side of a crowded bus, according to the Associated Press.
The bus was traveling its regular route from Podolsk to Zhokovo near Moscow at the time of the accident, Agence France-Presse reported via Fox News. The mishap occurred near Oznobishino, a settlement about 25 miles south of the Russian capital.
RIA Novosti noted that 15 of the 25 people hurt in the crash suffered grave injuries. It is believed the bus was carrying as many as 40 passengers. The Russian news agency also pointed to a video reportedly showing the scene of the accident, which includes a bus ripped in half.
A criminal investigation into the crash has been launched, according to RIA Novosti, which reported the truck’s driver is an Armenian national who has been fined six times for violating traffic rules during the the past 12 months.
Authorities are currently working to assess the situation. “Firefighters and rescue teams are working at the scene,” a representative of the Moscow Emergency Services Ministry said.
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As Reuters noted, death rates from road accidents are significantly higher in Russia than in most Western countries.