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11 people killed in construction zone bus crash in South Kazakhstan
A tipper truck has collided head on with a long distance bus on new motorway being built to connect Western China and Western Europe in Kazakhstan.
Tragedy once again struck the road network of the Zhambyl region of Southern Kazakhstan at 06:45 on Saturday morning, 31st August 2013 when 11 people were killed in a crash between a fully loaded tipper truck and a bus operated by a crew of two drivers.
Less than a week after 10 people died in a head-on crash on a nearby road between two taxis, people in the region have been shaken by the news of further tragedy on Zhambyl’s roads. On this occasion, an overnight bus travelling from the capital city of Astana to the regional centre of Zhetisai was travelling along the new Western China – Western Europe highway at a section which is still under construction.
The Chinese built Shacman tipper truck was travelling in the opposite direction when it veered onto the oncoming lane and collided head-on with the bus killing both drivers and 8 passengers instantly. Survivors were transported to the local regional hospital in the settlement of Kulan where one further passenger died. 33 passengers have been admitted to hospital, 6 of whom are in a critical condition in intensive care.
Police are investigating the incident focusing on the 24-year-old HGV driver who is thought to have fallen asleep behind the wheel and who had a previous driving conviction.
The section of highway on which the accident happened is a dual-carriageway and is equipped with barriers on each side of the road as well as along the full length of the central reservation. However, at the time of the accident, one carriageway was closed for construction and the section was operating a contra-flow system with bi-directional traffic on a single carriageway.