The fire, whose causes are still unknown, has injured seven other people
At least 45 people have died this Tuesday in the fire of a bus south of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, authorities have reported. The accident occurred around 3:00 am on Tuesday on the Struma highway, near the town of Bosnek, about 40 kilometers south of Sofia, when the vehicle began to burn, according to the local BNT News media. The victims are said to be citizens of North Macedonia and among them would be several children.
In addition to the more than 40 deceased, seven people have been injured in the event and transferred to health centers, including a child under 15 years of age. It involves two women and five men. At the moment the causes of the accident are unknown.
According to the police, only two drivers came from Macedonia, but the passengers were “all Albanians”. “The only thing that is clear is that the bus has Macedonian license plates,” said the provisional Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Stefan Yanev, who visited the site and refused to give details about the nationality of the victims.
“The driver died, so there was no no one to open the doors“and allow the passengers to escape the fire, explained the chief of the national police Stanimir Stanev. The bus has collided with the security perimeter by a indeterminate reason yet. The road had recently been renovated with funds from the EU, of which Bulgaria has been a member since 2007.
Twelve miners, including five children, were on board the vehicle, which was coming from Istanbul and heading towards Skopje. They all died in the accident.
“The survivors are traumatized, they have lost relatives, children. They jumped out of the windows,” said Maya Arguirova, head of the treatment center for the great burns where they were transported. “Is a tragedy“replied the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, who was asked by the Bulgarian media.” The teams will move to the area to participate in relief efforts. “
628 dead in 2019
The last serious bus accident in Bulgaria dates back to august 2018: 17 passengers died while the vehicle was traveling under a torrential rain, with Bulgarian tourists returning from a visit to a monastery in a mountainous region in the north of Sofia.
Bulgaria, a country of 6.9 million inhabitants, registered in 2019 approximately 628 dead on the road and 463 in 2020, a figure below normal due to health restrictions that limited travel. This is one of the highest balances in the European Union due to the poor condition of the roads, the age of the car fleet and the frequent excesses of speed.