At least 46 dead when a bus caught fire on a highway in Bulgaria | International

At least 46 people have died this morning, including several children, when a bus caught fire on a highway in western Bulgaria, near the city of Bosnek, about 40 kilometers from Sofia, the country’s capital, according to the Ministry. of the Interior quoted by the Bulgarian agency BTA. The bus fire broke out around 2 a.m. local time on the highway that leads from Turkey to North Macedonia. The bus had a Macedonian license plate. According to the sources cited, only seven people have survived the fire. Among the victims, a dozen of them are minors.

The first reports of the local police indicate that the vehicle may have hit a curb or a railing. According to these preliminary reports, seven people were taken to the hospital with burns. On the other hand, the official BNT agency assures that the wrecked bus was carrying 52 passengers, a dozen of them minors and confirms that only seven people have survived in good conditions and are not in danger of death. The youngest patient among the injured is 17 years old.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has been shocked by the event. “It is a terrifying tragedy. Most of the victims are young, 12 are under the age of 18, and the rest are between 20 and 30 years old. Most of the victims are our citizens but there are also some Serbs, “Zaev told the Macedonian news agency MIA from Bulgaria. Zaev traveled to Bulgaria with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, and of Health, Venko Filipche, to find out first-hand what happened. The head of Government in North Macedonia has subsequently detailed that among the victims there is also a citizen with Belgian nationality.

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The group riding the bus was returning to the Macedonian capital, Skopje, from a weekend vacation trip to the Turkish city of Istanbul. The images transmitted by that public television showed the chassis of the bus completely burned.

According to BNT, there were four buses of a tourist company from the Republic of North Macedonia that traveled together and entered the country through the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, after traveling from Istanbul. Shortly before the tragic accident, the buses stopped to rest at a gas station.

The area around the accident on the so-called Struma Highway has been closed by authorities. The incident took place in a sloping area of ​​the motorway, near the town of Bosnek, where numerous accidents have already occurred in the past.

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Upon arriving at the scene, Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said that the bodies of the victims were “completely burned,” according to the Bulgarian channel BTV. The Acting Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Stefan Yanev, described what happened as a “huge tragedy”. “Let’s hope that we can learn the lessons from this tragic accident and that we can prevent these incidents in the future,” he told reporters at the place where the bus burned.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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