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40 killed in Ukraine train collision

A train crashed into a crowded bus in eastern Ukraine today, killing 40 people and leaving 11 in critical condition, officials said.

The Interior Ministry said the accident occurred outside the town of Marhanets in the Dnipropetrovsk region after the bus attempted to cross the track, ignoring a siren that indicated an oncoming train.

Rescuers, medics and investigators are working at the scene of the crash. All the casualties were on the bus, railway officials said.

President Viktor Yanukovych declared a national day of tomorrow.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov ordered his government to pay each family of the dead victims 100,000 hryvna (£8000).

He also instructed transport officials to install automated crossing gates at all the nation's railway crossings to prevent cars, buses and trucks from ignoring the siren.

Road and railway accidents are common in Ukraine, where the roads are in poor condition, vehicles are poorly maintained, and drivers and passengers routinely disregard safety and traffic rules.