Authorities say six people were killed and 23 others were injured Thursday when passenger bus collided with a heavy duty truck in northwest Russia.
Police in the Vologda region said the bus, which was carrying 31 passengers — most of whom were children — was headed back from a field trip in St. Petersburg when the accident occurred, about 6 miles (10 km) from the town of Cherepovetz.
Russia Today reports the truck involved in the crash was driving on the wrong side of the highway when it slammed into the bus head-on. The impact caused the bus to immediately burst into flames, according to a preliminary investigation conducted by the local emergency service.
Following the accident, numerous emergency crews were sent to the scene of the crash. Reports say that among the injured were 21 children and two adults. Two of the children are currently in critical condition.
The six fatalities were confirmed to be adults.
“Currently, the injured are getting medical treatment, their health condition is being checked. If they need to be treated in federal hospitals in Moscow, they will immediately be transported there,” Russian Health Ministry spokesperson Oleg Salagay said, according to RIA Novosti.
ABC News reports that deadly traffic accidents are widespread in Russia due to poor-quality roads and drivers violating traffic rules, including speeding, crossing over into the opposite lane and ignoring red lights.
In January-July 2012, more than 13,800 people died in the 107,000 road accidents registered and in 2011, 28,000 people died in almost 200,000 traffic accidents in Russia.
For comparison, 32,000 died in car accidents in the United States in 2011, a much lower figure per capita.