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25 May, 2010 17:46

Russian tour bus crashes in Turkey, at least 15 dead

At least 13 Russians have been killed and 25 injured in a bus crash in Antalya, Turkey, said Russia’s Emergency Ministry.

“According to the latest information, the crash in Antalya has taken the lives of 13 Russian citizens, with 25 more hospitalized. The condition of four of them is listed as serious," Emergency Ministry representative Elena Chernova was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency. She added that two Turkish citizens were also killed.

According to Mirdzhalol Khusanov, Russia’s Consulate General in Antalya, an investigation by Turkish authorities is underway.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to join the investigation into the accident, reports RIA Novosti, referring to the Kremlin’s press service.

Three investigators from the Russian Interior Ministry are going to Turkey to assist in the investigation.

Earlier, the president expressed his condolences to the families of victims of the crash and has ordered the Russian Ministry of Public Health and Social Development, the Emergency Ministry and the Interior Ministry to grant aid to those injured in the tragedy and to the relatives of the deceased.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry has sent a plane with 15 medics and two psychologists onboard to Turkey to provide assistance and evacuate the injured.

The bus driver had allegedly fallen asleep behind the wheel and the bus with 41 passengers fell off the cliff into the Aksu River 15 meters down.

The tragedy occurred at approximately 09:00 GMT.

Out of the 41 bus passengers, 39 are Russian and two are Turkish citizens.

Most of the Russian tourists were on vacation with their families.There are no children among the dead, according to the spokesperson of Russian Tour Industry Union.

The injured are currently in seven hospitals of the cities of Antalya and Belek. Most of them have spine, head and limb traumas, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

“The tourists who were on the bus came from different Russian cities,” said Mirdzhalol Khusanov. “Those with injuries have been sent to local hospitals. A special commission has been set up to investigate the incident.”

The dead are being identified, according to Mirdzhalol Khusanov.

Read also – Bus with Russian Tourists Crashes into River in Turkey, 16 Killed