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Bus drives off a pier in southern Russia, killing 16 workers

MOSCOW (AP) – A bus carrying construction workers drove off a pier in southern Russia on Friday, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

The bus was carrying workers who were building a pier for an oil company on the Black Sea coast not far from Crimea, the Investigative Committee said. Several oil companies are drilling for oil off the Russian Black Sea coast.

Official accounts of how many workers were on the bus that plunged into the sea changed several times Friday morning. By noon, the Emergency Situations Ministry said 41 people had been on the bus – the 16 people killed in addition to 24 others who were rescued by divers and one man who was still missing.

Eight people have been hospitalized, five of them in serious condition, emergency officials said.

Investigators didn’t immediately say why the bus drove off the pier, but local officials pointed to faulty brakes. The Tass news agency quoted the town hall of the Temryuk district as saying that the bus drove along the pier for nearly a quarter of a mile before the brakes failed.

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