32 years ago, the most terrible car crash in the history of Transcarpathia occured

Oksana Shtefanyo for Uzhgorod.in  27 September 2015 16:26  2491106999 0108054
32 years ago, the most terrible car crash in the history of Transcarpathia occured

The anniversary of the terrible event for Transcarpathia is marked week, 32 years has passed since the worst accident that ever happened in the region.

On September 22, 1983, on the lacet in the village of Zaluzhzhya in Mukachevo district, the evening bus Mukachevo-Ardanovo carrying students of the vocational school and workers of the Mukachevo knitting factory collided with the ZIL tank transporting furniture lacquer and thinner.

The tanks disconnected from the truck and began sliding down, where bus with 37 passengers was moving at that time. The contents of the tank began to pour on the road. After the collision, the tank exploded. Eyewitnesses recall that the people jumping out of the burning bus, would get stuck in a molten asphalt and turn into human torches screaming in pain and terror. That day, 18 people burned to death at the scene of the accident, 11 more died over the next days in the intensive care unit due to pain shock.

Most victims (thirteen) were residents of the village of Ardanovo in Irshava district. Two passengers - 22-year-old Ivan Kuchinko and 27-year-old Ivan Svalyavyn - could have survived, because they managed to run a safe distance away from the bus. But they came back to help others and died. Then, the radio station "Voice of America" reported about the tragedy. The Soviet media did not even mention of the worst car crash in the history of Transcarpathia.

At the 20th anniversary of the tragedy (2003), the newspaper "Fakty" published an extensive piece with interviews with eyewitnesses, the ZIL driver, policeman. It was also mentioned that after the tragedy, four people were tried: the young driver of the ZIL, who was charged with violation of traffic rules, which resulted in the death of many people, as well as the acting deputy chief engineer, the chief engineer and the master of the repair and transport shop of Dovhe Forestry Complex who failed to brief convoy drivers on the "Instruction on Transportation of Dangerous Goods". The defendants fully admitted their guilt. The ZIL driver was sentenced to ten years imprisonment in minimum security, and the rest were sentenced to two years of settlement colony and five years deprivation of the right to hold positions related to the responsibility for the technical condition and operation of vehicles. The convicts appealed to the Supreme Court, but it upheld the verdict.  None of them served full sentence. Three years later, the driver of the ZIL was pardoned by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, and soon was released on parole. Three other convicts spent one year in the settlements.

First, only wreaths on the fence reminded about the tragedy, but in 2003, a monument with the names of the victims was established. Since then, every year on September 22, priests of Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches of both regions pray for the repose of their souls there. This year there were twenty of them, as well as relatives and friends of the victims.

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