Bulgarian bus crashed and caught fire; at least 45 people died

Sofia, Bulgaria (AP)-Authorities and local media said that early Tuesday, a bus carrying North Macedonians travelling home from Istanbul crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, killing at least 45 people.

Authorities said that the accident happened around 2 am and there were children among the victims. Seven people were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The cause of the accident was not immediately confirmed, but it seems that the bus hit the highway guardrail, crashed and caught fire.

This bus is one of four buses that travel together. The official said it would launch an investigation.

Photos taken shortly after the accident showed that the bus was engulfed by flames and thick black smoke was emitted from the scene.

Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov told reporters at the crash site that he “has never seen anything more terrible than this in his life.”

Rashkov said: “The picture is horrible, the people on the bus are turned into charcoal.” “It is impossible to say how many they have. There are four buses running together, and passengers may change to buses during the stop.”

Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev also visited the crash site. He told reporters that it was “a huge tragedy.”

Yanev said: “I take this opportunity to express my condolences to the relatives of the victims.” “I hope we can learn from this tragic incident and prevent such incidents from happening in the future.”

The Bulgarian news agency Novinite said that representatives of the North Macedonian Embassy visited a hospital where there were some victims.

The Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zayev told the Bulgarian television channel bTV that he had talked with a bus survivor.

“One of the passengers told me that he fell asleep and then woke up from the explosion,” Zayev told bTV, adding that the authorities would collect information “important to the families of the deceased and survivors.”

In a statement posted online, the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, called this a “terrible accident” and said that he hoped that the authorities would conduct a full investigation to determine the “cause and cause of the tragedy”. responsibility”.

According to data from the European Commission, in 2019, Bulgaria, an EU country with a population of 7 million, ranked second in the G-27, with 89 deaths per million.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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