Bus terror leaves 45 people dead in western Bulgaria | World | News

Six adults and a 17-year-old girl escaped from the fireball by smashing the windows of the bus. They were taken to hospital with burns.

The accident happened around 02.00 local time near the village of Bosnek, about 40 km southwest of the capital Sofia.

Most of the 52 people on board, including the driver, who did not survive, were from northern Macedonia, returning from a weekend trip to Istanbul, Turkey.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said on the spot: “The picture is scary, scary. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

It is unclear what caused the tragedy, but officials said the bus appeared to have hit a road barrier either before or after it caught fire.

Northern Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said a survivor told him sleeping passengers were awakened by the sound of an explosion.

Zaev said: “He and the other six survivors smashed the windows of the bus and managed to escape and save themselves.” He added: “We do not know if all the passengers are our citizens, but we assume so as the bus has a Macedonian registration.”

Bulgarian Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said: “Let us hope that we learn from this tragic incident and that we can prevent such incidents in the future.”

The area around the accident site on the Struma motorway has been cordoned off as experts investigate the incident.

Head of Investigation Borislav Sarafov said: “Human error on the part of the driver or a technical error are the first two versions of the accident.”

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