More than 50 killed in Kazakhstan bus fire

A bus caught fire in a remote part of Kazakhstan on Thursday, killing 52 citizens of neighbouring Uzbekistan, the Kazakh interior ministry has said.

The bus was on its way to the Russian city of Samara on the Volga river to Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan, AFP reported.

There were 55 passengers and two drivers on the bus.

Separately, Uzbekistan's Emergencies Ministry said it was sending a plane with its own team of doctors and rescuers to the site. Kazakhstan's emergency officials say 52 people of 57 on the bus died on the fire.

No cause for the fire was given, though a subsequent release from regional authorities said that most of the almost 200 vehicle fires past year were because of electrical problems. Five people managed to escape the inferno with injuries and are now undergoing medical treatment.

The bus they were travelling on caught fire and spread quickly.

Kazakhstan's latest official statement said the bus could carry up to 59 passengers.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately clear, but investigators suspect it was triggered by a short circuit.

A photograph posted online showed the bus had been completely burnt out.

It has been reported that the bus was ferrying Uzbek passengers to or from Russian Federation.

In 2015, 16 people, including three children, died in Kazakhstan when a minibus collided with a van on April 20, 2015.