Ukraine mother dies in Rome in front of kids after 30-hour bus trip

46-year-old woman had just arrived in Rome.

A Ukrainian woman fleeing the Russian invasion of her country died in Rome on Friday morning after a 30-hour bus journey from Ukraine to the Italian capital.

The woman collapsed in front of her two young children, a boy and a girl aged 10 and 11, after stepping off the bus in the city's Ostiense district, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Alerted by the children's screams, police officers tried to revive the woman, 46, before the arrival of emergency services, however all attempts to save her life failed.

The woman, identified in Italian media as Natalia Kretova, got off the bus extremely tired and fell to the ground with severe chest pain before losing consciousness, according to police.

The tragedy occurred just after 07.30 on Friday in Piazzale 12 Ottobre 1492, beside the Ostiense train station, near Eataly.

Natalia had confided in a Ukrainian nun on the bus that she had no relatives in Italy and did not know where to go, reports online newspaper RomaToday.

The nun had suggested that Natalia and her children go to a reception centre where she lives in Castel Gandolfo, about 25 km south-east of Rome.

An autopsy was being conducted on Friday into the cause of the death of the woman, whose luggage reportedly contained medicine to treat hypertension.

Natalia and her two children had travelled to Rome from Lviv, having made the journey earlier from Ternopil and before that from Kremenchuk in southern Ukraine, reports Corriere della Sera.

In Ternopil the children said goodbye to their father who stayed behind to defend his country from the Russian invasion.

Now, after the tragic loss of their mother, the young brother and sister suddenly find themselves in Rome without any family.

The children have been taken to the reception centre in Castel Gandolfo, with the Ukrainian nun they met on the bus, and are being cared for by social services.

Photo ANSA