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Transport units falling through the ice kill people across Russia

February 21, 2014

Three people found dead this week across the Russian Federation because of transport units falling through the ice. Every day the negligence of ice road safety rules kills people’s lives in different regions of the country. According to EMERCOM of Russia, 5 vehicles including 2 snowmobiles fell through the ice in January solely in St Petersburg. Some tragic examples are described below.

 This Wednesday two tractors transporting hay fell through the ice on Lena river near Yakutsk. Fortunately drivers managed to jump out of the vehicles, nobody was injured.

 18th February 2014, an SUV went under Volga river ice in Nizhny Novgorod region. Three passengers died. The tourists decided to traverse the river in the place not suitable for it. Thin ice broke under the car. The driver survived. He could get out of the car before it plunged into the water.

 2nd January 2014, a bulldozer fell through the ice during snow removal on a working lane of a constructed ice road in Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug. The driver drowned.  The tragedy occurred because of the systematic negligence of safety by management of the company holding these works on the ice road. No risk assessment took place before the work, i.e. the driver of the bulldozer did not get an admission and was not instructed accordingly; ice thickness was not measured in advance; the escape hatch was not left open for emergency evacuation; documents required for the organization of safe work were missing; light-weight powerful snow removal units were not used.

 These and other casualties could be prevented if simple safety rules on motor transport in winter.

 Safety on ice roads reminder:

  • Minimum distance of 30 m between vehicles.

  • A speed limit of 30 km/h.

  • Entering the road at the speed of 20 km/h.

  • Cabin doors must stay opened.

  • Seat belts must not be fastened due to danger of drowning if the ice breaks.

  • Passengers must be dropped off before entering and exiting an ice road.

  • Moving smoothly without heavy breaking.

 Take care of health and lives of people around you! Be mindful!