At least 45 people have died this morning, including several children, when a bus caught fire on a highway in western Bulgaria, near the city of Bosnek, as reported by the Interior Ministry cited by the Bulgarian agency BTA. According to the first information, only seven people have survived, who have been transferred to the hospital with burns.
The bus fire, for reasons that are unknown until now, occurred around 02.00 in the morning (00.00 GMT) on the highway that connects Turkey with North Macedonia. Apparently the bus had the registration of the latter country.
The causes of the accident and the fire are being investigated. The first reports of the local police indicate that it could have hit a curb or a railing.
On the other hand, the official BNT agency assures that the wrecked bus was carrying 52 passengers, 12 of them children and confirms that only 7 people have survived in good conditions and are not in danger of death. The youngest patient is 17 years old.
The group riding the bus was reportedly returning to the capital Skopje from a weekend vacation trip to the Turkish city of Istanbul.
According to BNT, a total of 4 buses from a tourist company from the Republic of North Macedonia 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 where the accident occurred on the so-called Struma Highway has been closed by authorities. Upon arriving at the scene, Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said the bodies of the victims were “completely charred,” reports BTV.