At least 18 people have been killed in a traffic accident in Moscow, when a truck carrying gravel smashed into a passenger bus. The impact of the crash ripped the bus in two.
Saturday's accident happened on a regular public transport route from Podolsk to Zhokhovo in the Moscow region, where it is believed a truck turned onto a main road and ploughed into the bus.
Russia's emergency services ministry said that 25 people were injured in the crash, but did not state the severity of injuries.
Television footage showed the bus smashed into two pieces, while video footage posted online reportedly showed the speeding truck out of control and smashing into the bus.
Preliminary comments from authorities seem to indicate the driver of the bus is at fault. Moscow deputy mayor Pyotr Birukov said the driver, a 46-year-old Armenian citizen, is being interrogated by police, and had been fined six times this year for traffic violations. News reports say the drivers of both vehicles are in hospital.
The head of Russia's health department, Georgy Golukhov, told the RIA Novosti news agency that passengers were also hit with the gravel the truck was carrying, adding to the extent of injuries suffered.
Russia is believed to have one of the world's worst road safety records, with official data showing around 28,000 people were killed and more than 250,000 injured in accidents last year.
jr/hc (AP, AFP, dpa)