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21 Dec, 2023 16:59

Deadly virus outbreak triggers mass train evacuation

A group of Russian children was traveling from a camp in Siberia when the tragic incident took place
Deadly virus outbreak triggers mass train evacuation

The death on a train of a 12-year-old girl exhibiting flu symptoms prompted Russia’s Investigative Committee to initiate a criminal case on Thursday. The child was part of a group of over a hundred schoolchildren, all of whom were subsequently taken to the hospital for health assessments.

Some 125 children, reportedly from Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic, were returning from a health camp in Tyumen, Siberia, chaperoned by adults.

On Wednesday evening, the health of one of the girls dramatically deteriorated, authorities said. At first, she had a temperature of 39° Celsius (over 102° Fahrenheit), which was brought down with fever-reducing medicines. However, a few hours later, the girl “turned pale and lost consciousness,” according to the Telegram channel Mash Ural. 

The head of the train decided to make an unscheduled stop at the nearest station, in Saratov Region, in the southeast of European Russia, where an ambulance was called, Russian Railways said in a statement. “A medical team arrived at the station immediately, but, unfortunately, it was not possible to save the child,” it added.

The exact cause of death will be determined after a forensic examination, the Investigative Committee’s report said.

All other children from the group were then taken to a local hospital. Saratov Region’s governor, Roman Busargin, said most of the them had symptoms of an acute viral infection, and 15 of them were laboratory-diagnosed with influenza type A.

Some 86 children were hospitalized, seven of them are in a state of medium severity with high fever, the Russian Health Ministry said. The statement noted that the lives of the young patients are not threatened. Another 38 children and 11 adult caregivers are temporarily housed in another hospital block; they did not show any symptoms.

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