- The authorities said that a bus carrying people home to North Macedonia from a vacation to Istanbul bashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria early Tuesday, killing almost 45 people.
- The cause for the crash was not instantly confirmed, but it was seen that the bus hit a highway-rail, crashed, and caught fire.
The authorities said that a bus carrying people home to North Macedonia from a vacation to Istanbul bashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria early Tuesday, killing almost 45 people.
The accident happened at 2 a.m., and there were kids among the victims, authorities said. Seven people were in the hospitals.
The cause for the crash was not instantly confirmed, but it was seen that the bus hit a highway-rail, crashed, and caught fire.
Shortly after the crash, photos showed the bus engulfed in flames with plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the scene.
Daylight revealed the burned-out bus; its windows were broken and gutted, sitting upright against the barrier.
Interior Minister Rashkov told reporters at the site that he had “never in his life seen something scarier.”
“The picture is scary; the people who were on the bus are turned into charcoal,” Rashkov said. “It is not possible to decide how many they were. Four buses traveled, and passengers may have exchanged buses during the stops.”
Media in North Macedonia, a country of 2 million people, reported that police were outside the offices of a travel company believed to have managed the trip to Turkey. “I would like to send my condolences to their family of the victims,” Yanev said.
Albanian Foreign Minister Olta wrote online that all of those who died in the crash were Albanians.
North Macedonia’s PM, Zoran Zaev, told a Bulgarian television channel that he talked to one of the survivors.
“One of the people told me that he was sleeping and woke up from a blast,” Zaev told, adding that the authorities will gather the data that is “vital for the families of the survivors.”
According to European Commission data, in 2019, Bulgaria, an EU nation of 7 million, had the 2nd-highest road fatality rate in the 27-nation bloc, with 89 people killed per million population.
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