BOSNEK: Forty-six people, including a dozen minors, were killed after their tourist bus caught fire on a Bulgarian highway early Tuesday in Europe’s deadliest road accident in the past decade.
The reason has not been determined, but officials believe that the bus hit the guardrail and caught fire on its way from Istanbul, Turkey to Skopje, North Macedonia.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The accident occurred around 2:00 AM (0000 GMT) on the highway about 40 kilometers (26 miles) from Sofia, near the village of Bosnek.
Seven people-five men and two women-survived.
“Unfortunately, there are many victims, 46, including 12 minors,” North Macedonian Health Minister Venko Filipce told public BNT television after visiting the survivors in a Sofia hospital.
The survivors include a 16-year-old girl and are all from the same family and in stable condition, official said.
The dead were mostly from North Macedonia and from different ethnic groups and also included a Belgian and a Serbian national, officials said.
Local media in Macedonia said the bus was registered with the “Besa trans” tourist agency, which organises tours to Istanbul.