Tula Tragedy: Armenia-bound Bus Crash Death Toll Rises in Russia


YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow) — As of the afternoon of Tuesday, November 3, the number of victims in a major bus crash in Russia involving Armenian passengers had risen to 8.

According to Armenia’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situation (MTAES), one passenger of the Moscow-Yerevan coach died from injuries in hospital.

Seven others died on the spot in an accident that happened overnight at the 220th kilometer of M4 Don Highway in the Tula region of Russia.

Another 42 passengers were wounded and transferred to hospitals. All in all, there were reportedly 59 passengers on the Higer coach designed to transport 65 passengers.

According to preliminary data, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which veered off the road and flipped over. Some reports suggested that the driver may have fallen asleep. The driver reportedly survived, but was in a state of shock and could not testify immediately.

All of the dead and injured are citizens of Armenia.

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Nana Gndoyan, deputy head of the MTAES Department of Information and Public Relations, said that 12 of the passengers were taken to a safe place, to Tula’s cinema house, and everything was fine with them, another eight passengers were at the homes of their relatives in Russia.

The official stressed that all information was preliminary and could change.

“A MTAES representative at the Armenian Embassy in Russia Artak Ghazaryan, representatives of Armenia’s police and investigation committee have left to the scene of the accident to get familiarized with the situation on the spot and will be there within half an hour,” Gndoyan said, talking to ArmeniaNow at around 1 p.m.

The MTAES National Crisis Management Center is in contact with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia and the crisis management center of the Tula region, as well as with hospitals. The official website of the Armenian Ministry periodically updates information on the developments.

Armenia-inbound or outbound passenger buses suffered major crashes in the past as well.

In March 2012, three people were killed on a coach carrying tourists to Armenia that crashed in northern Iran. All of the victims then proved to be ethnic Armenians with Iranian citizenship.

More than a dozen people were injured in that crash reportedly caused by a wheel blast.

Later that year, one man was killed in a coach en route from Yerevan to Istanbul that crashed in Armenia’s Shirak province. More than two dozen people were hospitalized with injuries in that accident blamed on the driver.

And in 2011, a coach carrying Armenian tourists veered off the road and rolled downhill in the vicinity of Georgia’s alpine resort of Gudauri. No one was killed then, but up to three dozen people were injured.

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