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18 Jul, 2010 19:59

Bus plunges off cliff in South Ossetia, at least 11 killed

At least eleven people have been killed, including two children, while some thirteen others were injured after a bus plunged off a cliff in a mountainous area in the Republic of South Ossetia on Sunday.

Injured passengers have been taken to the Central republican hospital in Tskhinval, RIA Novosti news agency reported. One woman is said to be in serious condition while the state of the others is described as moderately severe, according to the news agency.

Three passengers with minor injuries went home after receiving medical assistance.

The crash of the bus, with over 20 passengers on board, happened on the Trans-Caucasian highway connecting Russia's republic of North Ossetia with South Ossetia and Georgia.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said the bus plunged over sixty meters.Police are investigating whether a lorry might have been in the wrong lane, causing the bus to plunge down the cliff.

A criminal case has been launched for violating traffic regulations. The emergency session of the republic’s parliament and government declared June 20 a day of mourning for the victims of the accident.