Dozens of tourists killed in Bulgaria bus fire


At least 45 people, including 12 children, died after a bus caught fire on a highway in western Bulgaria on Tuesday, officials said, with most of the bus passengers traveling from North Macedonia.

The official in charge of disaster management, Commissioner Nikolai Nikolov, said – in a statement broadcast by the state television “BNT” – that “45 or 46 people died” in the accident, which occurred on a highway 40 kilometers south of the capital, Sofia, at about two in the morning local time. (midnight GMT).

He added that “7 passengers were rescued”, who were taken to a hospital in the capital.

Bulgarian officials said the cause of the accident was unknown, but it appeared that the bus hit a barrier on the highway before or after it caught fire.

“Human error on the part of the driver or a technical defect are the primary reasons behind the accident,” said Borislav Sarafov, head of the Bulgarian investigative service.

Bulgarian Interim Prime Minister Stefan Yaniv mourned the victims, telling reporters, “This is a painful tragedy.”

As Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said, “The passengers were burnt to ashes… The scene is horrific, horrific. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

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