52 killed in bus accident

At least 52 bus passengers have been killed in north-western Kazakhstan after the vehicle caught fire.

According to BBC, five persons escaped the accident and are being treated by rescue workers on the spot.

The accident was said to have occurred around 10:30 local time on Thursday, January 18, 2018, in the Irgiz district of Aktobe region.

The bus was reportedly carrying Uzbek citizens to or from Russia along the Samara-Shymkent route, said local media.

The report said the route, which is about 2,200km (1,300 miles) long, is frequently used by Uzbek migrant labourers travelling to construction sites in Russia.

The emergency services ministry told AFP news agency that 55 passengers and two drivers had been aboard the bus.

"Five passengers received medical assistance. The remainder were killed," it said in a statement.

The cause of the fire was not ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

Emergency officials have opened a telephone hotline for worried relatives.

Kazakhstan is a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic. It extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia.

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