A tragic event in Bulgaria: a bus carrying North Macedonian tourists from Istanbul,Turkey, crashed in flames before daybreak Tuesday, around 2 a.m., on the Struma highway about 30 km (19 miles) west of Sofia, killing 45, including 12 children. The bodies were “clustered inside and are burnt to ash”. Seven people were taken to hospitals in Sofia for treatment and were in stable condition.The bus appeared to have hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire. It was the most deadly bus accident in the Balkan country’s history. „I have never seen anything like that before,” Interim Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov told media. The bus was one of four carrying Macedonian tourists home.The cause of the accident was unclear.”Human error by the driver or a technical malfunction are the two initial versions for the accident,” Bulgarian investigative service chief Borislav Sarafov said. elevision footage showed the bus standing upright but charred and gutted by fire in the middle of the highway.
“I am terrified. This is such a huge tragedy,” North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told to a private television channel. Officials said an investigation was launched. Bulgarian news agency Novinite said representatives from North Macedonia’s embassy visited a hospital where some of the victims were taken. Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka wrote online that almost all of those who died in the crash were ethnic Albanians. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her condolences to the families and friends of those who died in the “tragic bus accident.”