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7 Die in Yaroslavl Region Car Crash

Seven people died in a car crash on the M8 federal highway in the Yaroslavl region, a news report said Thursday.

The incident occurred at 5:30 a.m. near the village of Novoselki when two passenger vehicles, a Mercedes and a Renault, collided head-on at a bend in the road, a regional emergencies official told Interfax.

All four passengers inside the Mercedes and three inside the Renault died on impact, while two survivors inside the Renault were hospitalized with serious injuries, the official said.

The director of a hospital in Rostov where the victims were taken said the survivors, a man and a woman, were in critical condition. The man had multiple fractures and the woman an open head wound, RIA Novosti reported.

Investigators were unable to say how fast the cars were going before the collision or who was responsible for the crash, the emergencies official said.

But Life News, which has close connections with law enforcement bodies, said the crash was caused by the Renault driver veering into the oncoming lane on a section of road with limited visibility.

Last year more than 177,000 car accidents were reported in Russia, according to state statistics, causing just over 24,000 fatalities and more than 235,000 injuries. In 2011, the numbers were higher, with almost 28,000 deaths and over 251,000 injuries.

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