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12 Oct, 2010 08:30

Dozens killed in bus-train collision in Ukraine

Forty five people were killed and eight more wounded after a train collided with a bus in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region.

The crash happened at about 09-00 in the morning at a rail crossing near the city of Nikopol.

The press-service of the Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine said that at the time of the crash, the crossing was closed to road traffic and all alarm systems were working. The visibility at the crossing was said to be about 700 meters in both directions.

Ukraine's Transport Ministry said the bus driver was to blame for the crash as he violated traffic rules.

Local media report that the driver was behaving strangely minutes prior to the collision. He reportedly stopped before the crossing, left the bus and stood next to it for several minutes. Then he took the wheel again and drove forward, despite passenger protests.

The accident is the worst of its kind in the history of independent Ukraine. Wednesday has been declared a day of mourning in the country.