Skip to content
Bus crashes, burns, killing at least 45 people in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – A bus carrying North Macedonians home after a sightseeing trip to Istanbul crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria on Tuesday morning, killing at least 45 people, authorities said and local media.

The accident happened around 2 a.m. and there were children among the victims, authorities said. Seven people were taken to hospital for treatment.

The cause of the crash was not immediately confirmed, but it appeared that the bus struck a freeway guardrail, crashed and caught fire.

The bus was one of four traveling together. Authorities said an investigation would be opened.

Photos taken shortly after the crash showed the bus was on fire with plumes of thick black smoke rising from the scene.

Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov told reporters at the crash site that he had “never seen anything more horrible in my life.”

“The photo is horrible, the people who were on the bus are turned into charcoal,” Rashkov said. “It’s impossible to say how many there were. There were four buses traveling together, and it is possible that passengers changed buses during stops. “

Bulgarian interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev, who also visited the crash site, told reporters it was a “huge tragedy”.

“I take this opportunity to send my condolences to the relatives of the victims,” ​​Yanev said. “Hopefully we will learn from this tragic incident and can prevent such incidents in the future.”

Bulgarian news agency Novinite said officials from the North Macedonian embassy visited a hospital where some of the victims were taken.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Bulgarian TV station bTV that he spoke to one of the bus survivors.

“One of the passengers told me he was asleep and woke up from an explosion,” Zaev told bTV, adding that authorities would collect information that is “important to the families of the dead and the survivors. “.

In 2019, Bulgaria, an EU country with 7 million inhabitants, had the second highest road fatality rate in the bloc of 27 countries with 89 people killed per million inhabitants, according to Commission data European.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.