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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tanker, Trolleybus Inferno Kills at Least 10

At least 10 people, including a child, died and eight were hospitalized in critical condition in northern Moscow on Thursday, after a gasoline tanker exploded in a collision, incinerating two trolleybuses.


Officials at the scene of the accident on Dmitrovskoye Shosse, near the Molodyozhnaya Hotel, said the massive fire erupted shortly before noon when a container truck collided with the tanker.


Vladimir Balboshin, head of the North municipal security department, said the tanker was stopped at a traffic light when the truck attempted to squeeze past it. When they collided the truck punctured the metal tank, spilling gasoline onto the road.


The two trolleybuses, also waiting at the lights, were behind the tanker and the gasoline spread around them, said Balboshin. He believed that a spark from the buse's electric wire ignited the entire section of road.


"Trolleys were burning, people tried to rescue themselves", said a witness who declined to give his name. "Some jumped out of the trolleys only to fall into a pool of burning fuel".


Four of the passengers died attempting to run to safety and three of their bodies lay near the doors of the trolleybus, according to another witness. A fourth body, that of a woman, lay further away under a damaged but still open umbrella. The others died inside the bus.


An official at the Sklifosovsky emergency hospital said that 16 patients had been brought from the scene of the accident. Eight were in intensive care with up to 90 percent skin bums. Six others were placed in the bums department. Two more had been treated and released, she said.


"I think there are actually more than 20 injured", said Balboshin. "Some went to a children's trauma station that is not far from here".


The two trolleybuses were completely destroyed by the fire. The container truck, however, was unharmed and the tanker had only its back wheels burned. Balboshin said two other trucks that were some 80 meters behind had been partially damaged.


The 10 dead were all passengers from the first trolleybus, operating on route 47. Some passengers were injured on the second bus, on route 36, which had been a few meters behind and to the side.


Both the tanker and the container truck drivers were unhurt, Balboshin said. Police reports recorded that neither driver was drunk, but the police report faulted the truck driver for the accident and he was led away handcuffed.


"We received the call at 12: 02 P. M". , said Alexander Nosov, head of the duty shift from the Rechnoi Vokzal fire station. "We arrived after 20 minutes, but the fire had already burned itself out".


Nosov said that most of the injured had already been moved from the scene when the fire crew arrived, and only 10 burned corpses remained, among them one child of about 10.


Forensic experts at the scene of the accident said that none of the victims have so far been identified. They loaded a jeep with cardboard boxes filled with the blackened remains of documents and other items.