Estonian bus driver killed, 26 Ukrainian troops injured in crash in Latvia

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Latvian police at the scene.
Latvian police at the scene. Source: / Latvian police

One person has been killed and 26 injured after a coach from Tallinn headed for Riga collided with a truck on the Via Baltica highway on Saturday evening.

The collision that took place near Ainaži (Heinaste) after 7 p.m. caused the highway to be closed for several hours and Latvia and Estonian rescue and ambulance crews to report to the scene. Latvia's public broadcaster LSM said that seven Estonian ambulance crews were at the site.

Estonian Defense Forces Headquarters said that the driver of a bus that was chartered by the EDF. Information from Delfi suggests the coach belonged to Estonian operator MK Autobuss.

An EDF member was injured in the collision and was taken to hospital. They are not in critical condition. The remaining injured are members of Ukrainian armed forces who have also been taken to hospital.

Tõivo Tim Nõlvak, head of field operations for Rescue Center West, told ERR that five rescue and seven ambulance teams were dispatched from Estonia, while the Latvian side also sent plenty of help.

"Two of our rescue crews joined their Latvian colleagues in freeing an injured person from the wreckage of the truck. The remaining three were involved in administering first aid."

People who sustained injuries were taken to the Riga, Vidzeme and Pärnu hospitals. Estonian news portal Delfi reported that ten people were brought to Pärnu Hospital and one later moved to the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH).

Latvian authorities said that the bus driver was killed and the driver of the truck injured in the crash.

The highway was reopened around midnight, with traffic rerouted through Ainaži until then.

According to LSM, several other traffic accidents were reported on the same section of highway because of slippery road conditions. Accidents reported around the same time included a collision between an SUV and truck and a Flixbus Vilnius-Tallinn coach also going off the road, with one person injured.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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