46 passengers on a bus die burned in Bulgaria
A total of 46 people, including 12 minors, were burned to death in the early hours of Tuesday when a bus overturned and caught fire on a highway.

A total of 46 people, including 12 minors, they died burned in the early morning of this Tuesday when a bus overturns and catches fire on a highway in western Bulgaria, about 20 miles south of Sofia. The Bulgarian Interior Ministry reported.

The youngest victim was 4 years old, 63 the oldest and most of the deceased had been born between 1971 and 2004. Police sources told Efe.

“Not everyone can bear these images,” Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said in remarks broadcast by public broadcaster BTV from the scene of the incident.

“The scorched corpses lie here piled up, one on top of the other.” The Bulgarian Transitional Executive Minister added. And he stressed that the victims have not yet been identified.

They can only be identified through DNA tests. According to the National Investigation Service.

“It is a terrifying tragedy. Most of the victims are young people … The majority are our citizens,” North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Social Democrat Zoran Zaev, told the Macedonian news agency MIA from Bulgaria.

Zaev traveled to the neighboring country with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, and of Health, Venko Filipche, to find out first-hand what happened.

BTV footage showed firefighters stunned at the bus’s chassis, turned into a charred scrap skeleton. It was reported to have a North Macedonian license plate.

SEVEN SURVIVORS

All seven people managed to survive, jumping out of the vehicle. They were transferred with minor injuries and burns to the Pirogov hospital in Sofia. Where they are still hospitalized in a “stable” state and were visited by the Norman delegation headed by Zaev.

One of the injured is a Serbian national, confirmed the Serbian embassy in Bulgaria.

The authorities hope that the survivors will be able to testify to help clarify the causes of the incident, which occurred near the city of Bosnek at around 02:00 local time (00:00 GMT) on the uma highway. “Which connects Sofia with Blagoevgrad.

From there, the bus, carrying 51 passengers and two drivers, headed towards the border with North Macedonia, back from a tourist excursion to Turkey.

The passengers had stayed for two days in a hotel in Istanbul before starting their return, Turkish broadcaster CNNTürk reported.

THE PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATES

The Bulgarian Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the causes of the accident.

According to the first reports, the bus overturned after colliding with a railing in the dark. Almost all of the passengers were killed in the flames, but it is not yet clear whether the vehicle caught fire before or after capsizing.

Rashkov said that. Among the various hypotheses that are handled, it is not ruled out that the driver fell asleep or died before the rest.

Vasko Pirgov, an expert with the City Council of the nearby city of Pernik, said that the vehicle “was traveling at a speed greater than 100 km / hour. The temperature was around 9 degrees and there were no icy sections of the highway”

“The front right wheel collided with a traffic signal that flew about 45 meters. In addition, it is punctured at least ten times and on the stretch from where the signal was to where the bus was there is a trail of diesel,” he added.

The expert estimated that the explosion that some of the survivors said they heard may have actually been the noise of the wheel breaking.

Apparently, the bus also ran past the median separating both directions of the highway, which may have caused sparks. As well as the rupture and inflammation of the fuel tank.

“From what I have seen, the flames started from the front of the bus. Those who survived were in the back and so they were able to break a rear window and jump.”

The flames were so intense that they melted the metal in the front area of ​​the bus construction.

In a joint press conference with Zaev, Bulgaria’s Acting Prime Minister Stefan Yanev today called what happened a “huge tragedy”.

Four buses from a Norman tourist company were traveling together and entered the country through the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint. On the border between Bulgaria and Turkey. Shortly before the tragic accident, the buses stopped to rest at a gas station, according to the Bulgarian press. The highway was closed by the authorities in the area of ​​the accident.

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