52 Uzbeks killed in Kazakhstan bus inferno

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Fifty-two Uzbeks were killed on Thursday when a Russia-bound bus they were travelling on caught fire in the central Asian country of Kazakhstan.
The bus burst into flames at 10:30 am local time (0430 GMT) with 55 passengers and two drivers on board, Kazakhstan’s emergency services ministry said.
“Five people who managed to escape are receiving medical assistance. The rest died on the spot,” the ministry said, without elaborating on the cause of the blaze.
All those who died were Uzbek nationals while the five survivors were Uzbeks and Kazakhs, the Kazakh ministry for investments and development said in a statement on Facebook.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev sent a telegram of condolences to Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev saying he was “sharing the irreplaceable loss.”
The fire broke out in a 29-year-old German-built Setra bus that did not have a licence to transport passengers and whose technical safety certificate had run out in 2016, said the ministry, which is also responsible for transport and roads.
Kazakh media reported the passengers were migrant workers travelling to Russia. — AFP