Nineteen people killed in bus crash in Russia's far east

People gathering at the site a where bus plunged from a bridge over the Kuenga River near Sretensk Russia on Dec 1 2019

People gathering at the site a where bus plunged from a bridge over the Kuenga River near Sretensk Russia on Dec 1 2019

Two preschool-aged children were among those killed and a 12-year-old girl was among those hospitalised.

In the Trans-Baikal Territory of the Russian Federation, a passenger bus fell from a bridge into a river, killing at least 15 people.

The vehicle was traveling from Sretensk to Chita in subfreezing morning temperatures when accident occurred near the China and Mongolia borders.

Emergency personnel work on the site where a bus crashed it fell from a bridge in Zabaikalsk region, Russia, on Sunday.

Andrei Gurulev, the region's acting deputy governor, said the bodies of all 19 people who died were taken to the central hospital in the town of Sretensk and that the identities of 16 victims had been confirmed.

Two helicopters with medics were sent to the scene.

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"The head of government expressed condolences to the families of those who died", the government said in a statement.

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal inquiry into a possible violation of traffic safety rules.

He said 43 passengers and a driver were on the bus.

Russia's track record in road safety is one of the worst in the world.

However, the number of road fatalities has decreased in recent years, to around 20,000 a year.

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