46 people dead in a bus accident in Bulgaria
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46 people have died in a bus accident in Bulgaria. Twelve children were among the victims - only a handful of the 50 + people on board managed to escape alive.
The long-distance bus from Istanbul drove into a motorway railing in Bulgaria, and a fire started which quickly began involve the entire vehicle.
The accident occurred at 02:00 am (Central European Time) during the night to Tuesday, about 45 kms (30 miles) outside the Bulgarian capital. TV broadcasts showed the burned-out bus in the middle of the highway. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
"An enormous tragedy", said Bulgaria's Acting Prime Minister Stefan Yanev.
At least seven injured people have been taken to hospital in the capital Sofia. According to medical staff, all the survivors come from the same family, and had managed to coordinate their rescue out of the burning bus. Their condition is described as stable.
"Unfortunately, we have many dead, 46 people, including 12 minors", said Northern Macedonia's Minister of Health Venko Filipce to the media company BNT after visiting survivors in hospitals in Sofia.
The bus came from a North Macedonian company that organizes group travel to Istanbul. Most of the dead were Macedonians on their way home to Skopje, local authorities say. A Belgian citizen and a person from Serbia were also among the victims.