Aqtilek Kenes, the head of the regional Emergency Situations Department, told reporters today (Jan. 18) that all of the victims were citizens of Uzbekistan.
Officials say the bus caught fire at 10:30 a.m. local time about 10 kilometers from the village of Qalybai on a highway that links the Russian city of Samara with Kazakhstan’s southern city of Shymkent.
Ruslan Imankulov, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s Emergency Situations Committee in Astana, said five survivors included two Kazakh bus drivers and three citizens of Uzbekistan.
He said the bus was registered in the country's South Kazakhstan region.
Authorities said the bus had begun its journey in Shymkent and was traveling to Russia.
They said most of the passengers were thought to be Uzbek migrant workers.