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45 tourists die during bus accident in Bulgaria

By News Desk

No fewer than 45 people, including 12 children, died as a bus carrying mostly North Macedonian tourists crashed in flames on a highway in western Bulgaria hours before daybreak on Tuesday.

Seven people who leapt from the burning bus were rushed to the Pirogov emergency hospital in the Bulgarian capital Sofia and were in a stable condition. As gathered, the injured seven suffered burns and one had a broken leg.

Confirming the development, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said that 45 people had died, making it the most deadly bus accident in the Balkan country’s history.

Interim Interior Minister, Boyko Rashkov, said that bodies were “clustered inside and are burnt to ash. The picture is terrifying, terrifying. I have never seen anything like that before,” he told reporters at the site.

The cause of the accident was unclear but the bus appeared to have hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire, Bulgarian officials said.

The accident happened on Struma highway about 30 km (19 miles) west of Sofia around 2 a.m. (0000 GMT), they said. The coach party had been returning to Skopje, capital of North Macedonia, after a weekend holiday trip to Istanbul, a trip of about 800 km (500 miles).

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