MOSCOW (AFP) - At least seven people, four of them children, were killed on Sunday (Feb 3) after a bus came off the road and overturned in Russia, according to officials.
The bus had been carrying children from the western city of Smolensk to the Kaluga region, south of Moscow, media reported.
"As a result of a road accident, seven people were killed, four of whom were minors. Twenty-four people were taken to hospital," the Kaluga region interior ministry said in a statement.
Most of those hospitalised were also children, Russian agencies quoted officials as saying.
Pictures released by local police showed the blue bus overturned in snow at the side of the road, with its windscreen shattered.
A criminal case had been opened against the driver of the vehicle, the ministry added.
Russia ranks among the world's worst countries for road deaths, mainly due to alcoholism, the poor condition of the roads and failure to follow traffic regulations.
The number of road deaths has declined in recent years but still remains around 20,000 annually.