MOSCOW (RT) – More than a dozen people were killed, including a child, and over 60 injured as a truck crashed into the side of a passenger bus in Moscow, tearing the back half off.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has confirmed the deaths of 18 people, with the youngest victim being a six-year old girl. Initially Moscow medical authorities reported 14 deaths, but later four of the injured died in hospitals.
At least 25 others have been taken to hospital with nearly a dozen of them in a critical condition. Two of those hospitalized include children between eight and 10 years old.
Gruesome pictures from the scene show the impact as the truck carrying roadbase crushed into bus N1033, which was carrying 60 people.
Earlier reports said there were 41 passengers on board, but later the number was corrected and confirmed by Moscow’s acting deputy mayor, Pyotr Birukov.
By 5:15pm local time (13:15 GMT) some of the bodies have been recovered from the mangled bus.
At least five of them have been identified, including the little girl and her 38-year-old mother. The main difficulty for rescuers is that some of the victims appeared to be buried under layers of roadbase, which spilled from the truck.
Dashcam video of the crash shows that the truck driver deliberately overtook front cars that were waiting at the intersection with the main road. He left two cars behind him, and kept moving, hitting the bus at speed. One witness told RIA Novosti that the driver was moving on the wrong side of the road.
“The KAMAZ [truck] was moving at high speed on a separate lane on his road while at the time the bus was just leaving the stop where it took on passengers. The KAMAZ could have avoided the collision, but tried to pass the bus, hit it and almost cut its back off,” one witness told RIA Novosti.
The truck driver was thrown out of the vehicle and is seen looking at the accident in shock.
Thirty ambulance crews were dispatched to the site in southern Moscow.
Helicopters with medics on board also attended the crash scene. Four helicopters were used to transport the injured.
The driver has survived the collision and was identified as a 46-year-old Armenian citizen, who was fined seven times this year alone for traffic violations, Moscow police stated. The driver is currently in a hospital being questioned by police.
The accident happened in an area referred to as “new” Moscow, as the southern suburb was recently included within the city’s borders.
Monday has been declared day of mourning in Moscow.