A bus crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, killing at least 46 passengers, including 12 children.
The bus was registered in North Macedonia, and the majority of the passengers were tourists returning from a vacation to Istanbul, Turkey.
There were seven individuals who managed to flee the bus and were brought to the hospital with burns.
The collision claimed the lives of four-year-old twin brothers.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov saw the “terrifying scene” and stated that the survivors were severely burnt.
The disaster’s cause was not immediately apparent. Bulgarian officials reported how the bus drove off the highway and ripped a 50m (164ft) part of the crash barrier away, however it was unclear if this occurred before or after the vehicle took fire.
According to the mayor of the neighboring village of Pernik, the freeway in that part was in terrible condition, and there were frequent accidents in the region.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani informed reporters that the coach party was returning to Skopje following a weekend vacation in Istanbul.
According to Borislav Sarafov, chief of the investigation service, “human mistake by the driver or a technical breakdown are the two initial interpretations for the accident.”
The area surrounding Tuesday’s event on the Struma road was cordoned off, and footage from the scene revealed the burned car, which had been destroyed by the fire.
Sarafov said that both drivers looked to have been dead in the incident, thus no one was able to unlock the doors.
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