Friday, January 21

Bulgaria: a coach accident kills 45, including a Belgian

At least 45 people died in the night from Monday to Tuesday in Bulgaria in an accident with a bus carrying nationals of North Macedonia. A Belgian is among the victims, said Vladimir Krstevski of the North Macedonian embassy in Sofia on Bulgarian national radio.

According to Deputy Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov, most of the victims are from North Macedonia. A Belgian is also among those who died in the accident. However, many victims have yet to be formally identified. The tragedy took place around 2 a.m. (1 a.m. HB) on the highway near the village of Bosnek, 40 km south of Sofia.

Fifty passengers and two drivers were in the bus. According to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, the bus, which came from Istanbul and was headed for Skopje via Bulgaria, had Macedonian license plates.

The bus struck the crash barrier for some reason at this point, overturned and caught fire. Few of the passengers were able to escape the fire. The place where the accident happened is known to be accident-prone, the mayor of a neighboring municipality told Bulgarian National Radio. Bulgarian interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev immediately attended the scene. “It’s a huge tragedy”, he said, before offering his condolences to the families of the victims.

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