Belarusian Tourists Hurt in Ukrainian Coach Crash

A bus carrying tourists from Belarus has overturned in southern Ukraine injuring 35 people.

The accident occurred near the south Ukraine city of Kherson as the coach was travelling north from the city of Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula on its way from one of the Black Sea resorts in Crimea to Belarus at the end of the holiday excursion.

Just before midnight on 21st July, the coach was involved in a head-on collision with a Ford Transit vehicle after which the coach overturned and was subsequently struck by a Lada Kalina passenger car.

32 out of the 44 people on board the aging Setra tour bus were injured along with 3 other people in other vehicles. All were admitted to local hospitals and four of them remain in a critical condition.

Public transport accidents are alarmingly common in the ex-Soviet state of Ukraine where driving standards and poorly maintained equipment contribute to high incident rates and equally high casualty levels.

In 2004, the nation was shocked by an accident involving an overnight bus travelling from Odessa to Kiev to which the Government reacted by temporarily banning all overnight public transport by road.

In 2010, a national day of mourning was announced after a bus hit a train at a level crossing near Dnepropetrovsk, killing 40 and injuring 11.

On 7th July this year, a bus carrying pilgrims from Russia to a holy site in Western Ukraine overturned killing 14 passengers.

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