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Mourning declared after bus crash

By Lia Bezhanishvili
Tuesday, July 20
July 20 has been declared a day of mourning by South Ossetia puppet regime after eleven people died when a bus fell into a ravine near the Roki Tunnel on July 18. The bus was travelling from Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, to the occupied Tskhinvali region via the Transcaucasia highway. 25 people were on the bus, including the driver. Two of the dead are children.

Twelve other passengers have been hospitalised with serious injuries. All the passengers were identified a few hours after the tragedy; most are citizens of the Russian Federation, only a few residents of the Tskhinvali Region.

The Tskhinvali puppet regime held a 'Government session' on July 19 to discuss the details of the accident. Its Interior Minister Valeri Valiev said at this session: "The bus driver tried to pass a truck coming in the opposite direction and in doing so ran off the carriageway. Consequently the bus fell into the 62 metre deep ravine. The bus driver is a resident of South Ossetia born in 1961, his name is Zakhar Laliev. The driver of the truck is the resident of the Brinski district. He was born in 1987 and his name is Vadim Kokarev. Both drivers have been arrested. We have already begun an investigation. All witness will be interrogated, stated the Interior Minister of the Tskhinvali region.

The Kokoity regime has also promised to pay compensation to the families of the victims. It will offer 100,000 RUB to the families of those who died in the accident and 50,000 RUB to the families of the seriously injured.

The office of the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration has released a special statement regarding the bus accident. It says that the Georgian Government expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and is prepared to provide medical services to the people injured in the bus crash; Georgian hospitals and medical centres have been mobilised to receive patients.