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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Truck-Train Collision Kills 18 in Ukraine

KIEV -- Eighteen women were killed Tuesday when a train smashed into a truck taking them to work in the fields of central Ukraine, local officials said.


The only survivors in the truck were the driver and a woman riding beside him, who were in grave condition, an Emergencies Ministry spokesman said. No one on the train was hurt.


Interior Minister Yury Kravchenko was quick to blame the truck driver, who was taking the women from a collective farm in the central region of Dnipropetrovsk to the fields.


"The driver drove onto an unguarded rail crossing when the alarm was going off," Kravchenko said at a news conference.


"What more must the state do to give the police less work? There is a crossing. The alarm is working. The signal sounds. But the driver proceeds. Who is to blame?" he said.


Another Emergencies Ministry spokesman could not confirm that the alarm was sounding at the time of the crash, which occurred on the track from the central city of Dnipropetrovsk east of Pavlohrad at 8.50 a.m


Farm workers traveling peasant-style in trucks like the Russian-made GAZ-66 involved in Tuesday's crash are a common sight in Ukraine.