One killed, 22 injured in Russian bus crash in Norway

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A bus full of Russian sailors headed to a port in northern Norway to replace a ship's crew crashed overnight, killing one and injuring 22, police said Saturday, adding that three people were in critical condition.

"The bus drove off the road and landed on its side... It happened around midnight (2300 GMT Friday)," Andreas Haugaasen, the police operation leader in Western Finnmark, in the very north of Norway, told AFP.

The bus had been carrying 23 Russian men, including the driver, who were driving from Russia to the port town of Hammerfest, where they were set to replace the crew of a Russian ship, he explained.

As the bus was driving over a mountain pass not far from its destination it ran off the road.

"We know one person is dead," Haugaasen said.

Three others, including the driver, had been taken in critical condition to the big regional hospital in Tromsoe, he said, while while 19 others, including five or six with serious but not critical injuries, were being cared for at the local hospital in Hammerfest.

"We still don't know what caused the accident," Haugaasen said, adding police had yet to begin interviewing the passengers and were especially interested in talking to the driver "if he makes it."

© 2011 AFP

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