Bulgaria bus crash: what happened as at least 45 killed after vehicle caught fire on motorway

The vehicle was carrying tourists returning from a weekend trip to Istanbul

A bus has crashed and caught fire in Bulgaria leaving at least 45 people dead, including 12 children.

The incident happened on a motorway near the village of Bosnek, around 25 miles south-west of capital Sofia, at 2am local time (midnight GMT).

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Seven people escaped from the bus and were taken to hospital where they were treated for burn injuries.

What caused the crash?

It is unclear whether the bus had caught fire and then crashed or burst into flames after crashing, a Bulgarian interior ministry official said.

The area around the site of the incident on the Struma motorway has now been sealed off.

The vehicle was carrying tourists returning from a weekend trip to Istanbul, Turkey, to North Macedonia capital Skopje.

What has been said about the crash?

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said one of the survivors told him that passengers were asleep when an explosion woke them up.

Mr Zaev said: “He and the other six survivors broke the windows of the bus and managed to escape and save themselves.”

Bulgaria’s interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said: “Let’s hope we learn lessons from this tragic incident and we can prevent such incidents in the future.”

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