A bus carrying 52 people in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, caught fire on early Tuesday. The cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained by the officials; however, they are inclined to believe that a fire broke out inside and the bush rammed into the guardrails.
The accident took place at 2 am on the Highway just 26 miles outside the capital city, and luckily no other vehicle was involved in the crash, near Bosnek. However the entire country is grief-stricken as of 45 dead, 12 were minors, i.e. under the age of 18.
“Of the victims… 12 in total were under the age of 18,” national police chief Stanimir Stanev said. “The driver died immediately so there was no one able to open the doors,” he added.
Of the 7 survivors, who all happen to belong to be of the same family, including 2 women and 5 men, one of whom was a 16-year-old girl. However, all is not merry for them, as they are being treated in the hospital for serious burns.
This was informed by North Macedonian Health Minister Venko Filipce to their local media channel, BNT television.
Maya Arguirova, the head of the treatment center for severe burns, where the survivors being taken care of shared that the survivors were saved as they had “jumped out of the window”.
As per sources in the country, the Bus was carrying passengers from Turkey’s capital Istanbul to Skopje in North Macedonia. The bus belonged to an agency that frequented tours and shopping expeditions to Istanbul.
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia as well expressed grief and even spoke to one of the survivors. “He explained that they were sleeping in the bus when an explosion was heard. They succeeded to break one of the windows and save a few people. Unfortunately, the rest did not succeed,” he said.
While offering sympathies he said, “It is a great tragedy… 12 (victims) are under 18 years old, and the rest are young people about 20 to 30 years old. Most of them are our citizens, but there are (some) from Serbia too,” The interim Prime Minister of Bulgaria Stefan Yanev and Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov even visited the site of the fatality the same morning. Other premiers were also on their way to ascertain the situation better.
“It’s a terrifying picture in there. I haven’t seen anything like that before,” Rashkov told journalists at the site. “Nobody can say for certain how many are there and who they were. The bodies are badly burned and have to be identified one by one,” he added.