Details of the Bulgarian tragedy

The details of today’s tragedy on the Bulgarian highway are shocking in their cruelty. Forty-six people, including 12 children, were burned to death and their bodies turned to ash.

According to the latest information, there was no one to open the doors of the bus on fire – the driver instantly died in an accident when the vehicle crashed into a road fence. Only seven in the back seats managed to jump out, breaking the window. They received burns, one passenger had a broken leg. All of them are in Sofia, in the emergency hospital. Pirogov. According to Venko Filipce, Minister of Health of North Macedonia, they are members of the same family, including a 16-year-old teenager.

The travelers returned to the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, after a weekend in Istanbul. This bus is one of four that entered Bulgaria with tourists from a travel agency in northern Macedonia after traveling to Turkey, says the head of the Bulgarian investigative service Boroslav Sarafov.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria announced that killed 46 people, which made the accident the deadliest in the history of the country. Television footage shows a completely burnt-out bus on a rainy-wet highway. Boyko Raskov, the interim minister of the interior, says the bodies were “folded in a car and turned to ashes”:

“The picture is terrible, terrible. I’ve never seen anything like it before. This is a huge tragedy. Driver error or mechanical failure are the two original versions of the causes of the accident. “

The Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaef expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He noted that all the passengers are from North Macedonia, including a Serb and a Belgian. It is unclear whether the two were injured or killed. The prime minister noted that in a conversation with one of the surviving passengers, he heard that there was an explosion in the bus. All passengers were asleep, but woke up from the sound of an explosion, after which the bus caught fire:

“There were 12 children among the dead, but the age of five has not been established, the rest of the dead were between the ages of 20 and 30.”

And the relatives of the passengers traveling in the bus still do not know anything about their fate. The 31-year-old Albanian says he went to a travel agency with his brother and sister to inquire about the fate of his parents:

“We don’t know if they were on the burned-out bus. We have no information. The agency does not return phone calls. We may have to go to Bulgaria. “

Xenal Bakiu has no news of a cousin:

“We call Besa Tours around the clock, but no one answers.”

Relatives gathered outside a travel agency that advertises trips to Istanbul, but offices are closed and representatives are unavailable.

45-year-old Adnan Yasarovski from Sofia says he received a call from his 16-year-old daughter. She reported that she survived and is in the hospital:

She cried. Her hands were burned, but otherwise she was fine. She spoke little, cried and was in shock. I saw her through the door because due to COVID I was not allowed to enter the room.

This is the deadliest accident in the history of Bulgaria. The latter happened in August 2018: 20 tourists were killed when their bus deviated from course in a heavy rain in the highlands north of Sofia. In 2019, 628 people died in accidents on the roads of Bulgaria, in 2020 – 463. These are the highest rates in Europe associated with the poor condition of roads and vehicles.

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