At least 45 people died when a bus was caught fire and crashed on a highway in western Bulgaria on Tuesday, officials and local news outlets said.
The bus had North Macedonian number plates, and most of the victims were from that country, BTV television reported, citing a official of the North Macedonian Embassy in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.
Nikolai Nikolov, de head of the fire safety department of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior, told BTV that 52 people had been on a trip on the bus when it crashed around 2 a.m. local time. BTV said the accident happened on the Struma highway near the village of Bosnek as it traveled from Sofia to Blagoevgrad.
The Foreign of North Macedonia minister, Bujar Osmani, told BTV that the bus had made a trip to Istanbul over the weekend.
“At least 45 people were killed after a bus was caught fire and crashed, of crashed and then caught fireNikolov was quoted as saying, according to Reuters. He added Which children was among the victims.
Some people jumped the bus windows until escape the flames, local news points of sale reported. seven people with burns and cuts were taken to a hospital in Sofia, Maya Argirova, head of the burns clinic in Pirogov Hospital, told reporters.
Additional details were not immediately available.
On Tuesdays the minister for foreign affairs of Bulgaria, Svetlan Stoev and Mr Osmani of North Macedonia has spoken by phone, according to a Edition posted on Bulgaria’s site for the Ministry of foreign affairs. mr. Osmani was on his way to Pirogov Hospital, where he was supposed to meet with Mr. Stoev, according to the press release.
On Twitter, Mr Stoev said that Bulgaria would do everything in its power to ensure of the victims and find the cause “of the tragedy.”
Zoran Zaev, the outgoing prime minister of North Macedonia, expressed its condolences to the families of the victims, BTV reports that.
“I am shocked by the tragedy, I am sorry for the incident,” said Mr. Zaev, who had announced in October that he would step down if prime minister and leader of are centerleft party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, after a defeat in local elections.
Stefan Yanev, the acting prime minister of Bulgaria, who visited the site of the crash, told reporters: “This… news shook us and demanded that the Bulgarian state react very quickly and make it possible to investigate this traffic accident.”
in 2018, a tourist bus met 33 pilgrims from a village north of the capital to a monastery that in near Sofia has crashed, killing minimum 16 people and injuring 26 others.
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