President Victor Yushchenko on Friday said the government’s response to a derailment accident in the Lviv region on July 16 “could have been more effective”, according to the President`s press-office.

Yushchenko told reporters at a joint press conference with Hungary’s Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány in Mukachevo the government had failed to properly explain to the affected area’s residents what to do and how to act and said this "lack of information has undermined Ukraine’s reputation."

The president said the prosecutor general’s office was now working to find out what had caused the accident and added: “In any case this is a serious reproach to the transportation ministry and the conclusions will be strict and clear.”

Yushchenko commended emergency officers, doctors and chemists working in the area: “They have demonstrated brilliant professionalism.”

He said he had been following the situation since the first day and expressed hopes it would soon be resolved.