Bus plunges into pedestrian underpass in Moscow

Nine remain in hospitals after bus ploughs into Moscow pedestrian underpass

Their primary version of what happened is a technical malfunction that caused the bus to veer off the road and down the stairway.

CCTV footage from the scene posted on social media showed a bus veering off the road and plunging down the steps of a pedestrian underpass.

Passengers on-board and people walking on the steps near the Slavyansky Boulevard metro station were killed, police said.

It is not clear if any of the people who died were inside the bus when it crashed.

Traffic spokesperson Artyom Kolesnikov confirmed: "A bus drove into a pedestrian underpass".

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"According to the driver, the bus was parked and suddenly began to move by itself", said a statement by the Russian Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes.

Other witnesses can be seen scattering as the bus zoomed toward them, before being brought to a halt by the tunnel's roof. The driver was detained, and a criminal case was immediately opened.

The tragedy, which unfolded near the Slavyansky Bulvar metro station at 2:50 p.m. local time, also left 15 people injured, officials said. A helicopter will evacuate the wounded persons. "We are providing emergency aid", he said, offering condolences to families of the victims.

Russian news agencies quoted Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin as saying that he had ordered all city buses to be checked in the aftermath of the crash.

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