NINETEEN people were killed when their bus plunged off a bridge onto a frozen river in eastern Siberia today.
Two children were among the victims as the bus landed upside down on the ice, causing the seating area to collapse.
The 43-year-old driver also died in the crash.
Friends told the Siberian Times he was an experienced driver.
A further 22 passengers were injured, Russian emergency services said.
An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said.
Initial inquires suggest the bus skidded off the bridge over the Kuenga River about 3,100 miles east of Moscow.
There were 43 passengers on board the bus which was travelling from Sretensk to Chita.
Two air ambulance and five ambulances attended the scene.
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The injured were rushed to three hospitals in the nearby towns of Shilka, Nerchinsk and Sretensk for treatment.
Russia’s record on road safety is one of the worst in the world.
According to the country’s traffic police, 18,214 people died in road accidents last year.