A bus carrying 57 people in Kazakhstan caught fire Thursday, killing all but five passengers, according to emergency officials. Rescue personnel saved five people from the burning vehicle and provided medical assistance, authorities said.
They are being treated for injuries.
Kazakhstan's emergency services ministry set up a hotline for victims' relatives.
More than 50 Uzbek nationals have been killed in a bus fire incident in neighbouring Kazakhstan, and the cause behind the tragedy is still not known.
Authorities said the bus had begun its journey in Shymkent and was traveling to Russian Federation.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but investigators suspect it was triggered by a short circuit. Two bus drivers are among the survivors of the blaze, Imankulov confirmed.
In footage posted online the bus can be seen positioned diagonally across a highway on a snow covered steppe, engulfed in flames and black smoke.
The ministry named the vehicle as a Hungarian-made Ikarus. The buses are still widely used in ex-Soviet nations, even though they are often decades old.
Last October, another Kazakh-operated bus carrying over 50 Uzbeks was hit by a train in Russian Federation after getting stuck on the tracks, killing 17 people.