SOFIA – At least 46 people died in Bulgaria in an accident in which a bus of tourists from North Macedonia caught fire. The crash occurred at two in the morning on the highway near Bosnek, 40 kilometers south of Sofia. Seven passengers were saved by jumping out of the windows of the burning vehicle and were taken to hospital with various burns. On board were 53 people including 12 children and several of them are among the victims.
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The bus had departed from Istanbul, Turkey, and headed for Skopje, North Macedonia, to repatriate a group of tourists who had spent the weekend in the city on the Bosphorus. It is not clear if the vehicle crashed and caught fire or if it caught fire before crashing.
Macedonian premier, Zoran Zaev, confirmed that most of the victims could be his compatriots: “We don’t know if they were all from North Macedonia but we assume so because the vehicle was registered in our country”.
The Struma highway was closed after the accident. “The bodies were completely charred,” said Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov, who visited the disaster site where he was joined by the interim prime minister, Stefan Yanev.