10 dead, 6 injured after Russian bus plunges into gorge

MOSCOW (AFP) - Ten people died on Wednesday after a minibus carrying 16 passengers plunged into a mountain gorge in Russia's North Caucasus, rescue officials said.

"According to preliminary information, there are seven children and three adults among the dead. Six more including three children were injured," an official at the Dagestan emergency medicine centre told Interfax news agency.

The minibus was driving along a mountain road in Dagestan's western Tsuntinsky district on Wednesday morning when the driver stopped to clear a rockfall on the road, an interior ministry official in the Dagestan region, Isamagomed Sultanov, told Interfax.

"The driver and one of the passengers got out to clear the road. At that moment the bus and the passengers were swept away by a new rockfall," Sultanov said.

The bus fell from a height of around 40m into a river swollen by heavy rain, Interfax reported.