Moscow crash: Cabby says he clocked 20-hour shift

The cab mounted a pavement in central Moscow on Saturday, injuring at least seven people on the third day of the Fifa World Cup.
The cab mounted a pavement in central Moscow on Saturday, injuring at least seven people on the third day of the Fifa World Cup.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW • A taxi driver who ploughed into a Moscow pavement on the third day of the Fifa World Cup, injuring at least seven people, said in a video released by the authorities yesterday that he had been working for 20 hours non-stop before the incident.

The unnamed man said he had slept for only two or three hours before the shift and confused the brake and the accelerator, leading to an "unexpected" loss of control, according to the video on the website of the local interior ministry.

"I do not know how it happened," he said, adding that he had not been drinking and was "very sorry".

Three of the injured remain in hospital in stable condition and will soon be discharged, state news agency RIA cited Mr Alexei Khripun, head of the Moscow city health department, as saying yesterday. The other people who were injured had already been discharged, Mr Khripun said. Among the injured were two Mexicans visiting the city for the World Cup.

The man, whom the authorities earlier identified as a 28-year-old national of the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, said he ran from the scene on Saturday fearing he would be killed there, before being taken into custody by police.

CCTV footage distributed on social media on Saturday showed the yellow cab turning right as it tried to pass some standing traffic on a one-way street near Red Square.

It accelerated as it reached the crowded pavement and drove a few meters before hitting a traffic sign and coming to a sharp halt.

The incident occurred 200m from Red Square, with Moscow packed with foreign football fans snapping photos of the Kremlin.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2018, with the headline 'Moscow crash: Cabby says he clocked 20-hour shift'. Print Edition | Subscribe