Russian bus station collapse kills one, injures 13: report

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The ceiling of a bus station in Russia's central coal producing region of Kemerovo collapsed Sunday during repair work, killing at least one person and injuring 13, the Interfax news agency said.

The station in the mining town of Belovo was operating when the repairs on its roof were being carried out, Interfax quoted a local emergencies ministry official as saying.

Earlier reports said the incident happened at a train station.

Vesti 24 state television said eight people had been hospitalised in various conditions, adding that the area affected by the collapse was more than 200 square metres (over 2,100 square feet).

Another five people with light injuries were treated on the spot, news reports said.

The struggling Kemerovo region sits at the southern tip of the Ural Mountains industrial district and is dotted with Soviet-era and largely unprofitable mines that make up the Kuzbass Basin.

Belovo is a town of 75,000 people lying 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of the capital city of Kemerovo in the heart of the region's coal district.

The town mines nearly a tenth of the entire region's coal and also extracts metals, employing most of its adult population in the pits.

Accidents to Russia's outdated infrastructure are frequent and happen most often in areas where local authorities lack the funds to update equipment or conduct the necessary repairs.

Interfax said federal agents from the powerful Investigative Committee had arrived at the scene to probe possible official negligence.

© 2012 AFP

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