At least 45 people were killed on Tuesday when a bus caught fire and crashed on a highway in western Bulgaria, officials and local news outlets said.
The bus had numbers from North Macedonia, and most of the victims were from that country, BTV reported, citing a spokesman for the North Macedonian embassy in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
The head of the fire safety department of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, Nikolai Nikolov, told BTV that 52 people were on the bus, which crashed at about 2 am local time.
“At least 45 people were killed after the bus caught fire and crashed, or crashed and then caught fire,” Reuters quoted Mr. Nikolov as saying. He added that there were children among the victims.
Some people jumped through the bus window to escape the fire, local news agencies reported. Seven people with burns and cuts were taken to a hospital in Sofia, Maya Argirova, head of the burn clinic, told reporters.
Additional details were not immediately available.
On Twitter, Svetlan StoevThe Bulgarian Foreign Minister said in his message that there was “great sadness” after the accident that claimed the lives of citizens.
He said that Bulgaria will do everything to take care of the victims and find the cause of the “tragedy”.
In 2018, a tourist bus carrying 33 pilgrims from a village north of the capital to a monastery crashed near Sofia, killing at least 16 people and injuring 26.