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10 die, including 3 children, as strong winds hit a tourist camp in central Russia, officials say

Lights on top of an ambulance. (WISH Photo)

MOSCOW (AP) — Ten people — including three children — died after high winds tore through central Russia, emergency services and a local official reported Sunday.

Eight of the dead were part of a group of tourists camping close to Lake Yalchik in the Mari-El region when the storm hit Saturday, Russia’s emergencies ministry said.

The strong winds caused a large number of trees to fall in the area, including where the group’s tents had been pitched on a stretch of wild beach inside the Mariy Chodra National Park, regional leader Yuri Zaitsev wrote on social media. He said that three children were among the dead. Russia’s investigative committee has opened a criminal case to determine whether unsafe or sub-standard services provided by the park’s management company contributed to the deaths.

Across the wider Volga Federal District, 76 people were injured in the storm, with thousands of households losing power, emergency services said.