MOSCOW: Two Malaysian medical students who were returning to their campus in Russia after spending Hari Raya in Malaysia died in a road accident here.
The two were travelling from Moscow Airport with five other government medical scholars when their mini-bus collided with another about 120km south of here on Sunday.
The dead were identifed as Mara scholar Hanisah Muhd Shah from Dungun, Terengganu, who died on the spot while PSD scholar Adzreen Binyati from Putrajaya died on the way to hospital.
Also killed was the bus driver. The injured are Siti Nadiah Abdullah Sani, Nurul Amirah Mohd Nor, Nor Hidayah Jailuddin, Nur Liyana Kamarul Bahrin and Siti Romeza Abdul Reza. They are being treated at a hospital in Vladimirskaya.
All seven are Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy fifth-year medical students.
The Malaysian Ambassador to Russia, Datuk Zainol Abidin Omar, said this was the “biggest tragedy” to hit the some 3,000 Malaysian students studying in Russia.
“The undergraduates, all in their mid-20s, had just returned from Malaysia where they had celebrated Hari Raya,'' he told Malaysian journalists who were in Vladivostok to cover the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Usually, students would fly directly to Nizhny but the girls decided to hire a mini-bus for their 450km journey from here to their university.
The accident occurred mid-way through their journey at about 11.30am Moscow time.
Zainol said the embassy was informed of the incident by one of the injured girls and his officers were now at the hospital to help the students as well as make arrangements for Hanisah and Adzreen's bodies to be flown back home.
There are some 400 Malaysian students studying at the medical academy which had recently hosted the annual Malaysian Games for students in Russia.