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52 people killed in Kazakhstan bus accident: ministry

52 people killed in Kazakhstan bus accident: ministry

A picture provided by the Kazakh emergency situations ministry shows the burning bus on a road in the Aktobe region.

A statement issued by the Kazakhstan emergency services ministry confirmed that 52 of the 57 people on board were killed when the fire took hold at about 10.30am local time.

55 passengers and 2 drivers were inside the bus and only 5 people managed to flee the fire. He said the fire spread very quickly. Investigators believe that the fire in the bus started as a result of short circuit. The five survivors suffered minor injuries and were hospitalised. Video footage also posted on the web showed it positioned diagonally across a two-lane freeway in the middle of a snow-covered steppe, in flames and emitting heavy black smoke.

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The ministry named the vehicle as a Hungarian-made Ikarus. These buses are still widely used in ex-Soviet nations, even though they are often decades old.

Last October, another Kazakh-operated bus carrying over 50 Uzbeks was hit by a train in Russian Federation after getting stuck on the tracks; 17 people died in that accident.

The tragedy, which struck in the area around the city of Aktobe, came less than three years after 16 people, including three children, died in the country when a minibus collided with a van on April 20, 2015.