According to local reports, the bus explosion in Bulgaria that killed 46 people and injured 12 children yesterday was caused by 30,000 fireworks meant for Macedonia.
Officials say the tourists bus, which was traveling from Istanbul in Turkey and Skopje in North Macedonia crashed into highway rails at speed of 62 mph.
The scene was reminiscent of a horror movie, according to one of the survivors. Thick smoke fills the bus as people shout for help, according to another.
Many of the victims died from the intense fire. Forensics teams were sent out to help identify them.
According to Infomax Macedonian news outlet Infomax a preliminary investigation showed that the fire originated at the bus’s front. Authorities have not confirmed this however.
According to local reports, the firecrackers were intended for Macedonia and filled the bus explosion in Bulgaria that killed 46 people yesterday including 12 children.
In memory of the victims, a woman weeps as she lightens a candle at the North Macedonia Embassy in Sofia.
Luan Ahmeti and Alban Ahmeti are both four-year-old victims of the bus blast.
Pictured: 46 people were killed when a bus collided with a Bulgarian motorway.
Lulzim Suljmani of southern Serbia was one of the survivors and told Klan TV that the bus hit the asphalt on the right side, puncturing the wheels.
“The bus then burst in flames and started to fill with smoke. After moving for approximately 20 meters, the bus came to an abrupt halt.
He said, “People began vomiting and screaming. It was almost like watching a horror film.” By smashing the window with a stick, I was able to get out. I brought my fiancée and five other people along.
Officials claim that the driver was killed before flames reached the bus, so no one could have opened the doors.
The majority of passengers were aged between 20 and 30 years old, including a dozen minors.
Luan Ahmeti and Alban Ahmeti, along with father Avni & mother Jihan were also burned to the ground.
Gazmend Ukali (27), and Albina Belluli (23) were also among those who died. According to local media, the couple were on their way back from Istanbul where they had celebrated Gazmend’s birthday.
Seven victims of the crash were pulled from their wreckage (pictured by officials in Bulgaia). One girl aged 16 was also rescued. She and her family were taken to a Sofia hospital with minor injuries.
Pictured: Family members of those injured or killed in a bus collision talk to one another at the café next to the hospital in Sofia (Bulgaria).
Following the tragic events, the flags of the Northern Macedonia government are flown at half-mast in Skopje capital.
Gazmend Ukali, 27, and Albina Belluli, 23, were also identified as among the deceased. Local media reports that the couple were on their way back from Istanbul, where they had celebrated Gazmend’s birthday.
Sloboden Pecat reported that he had lost his entire family to the fire. He also said 10 of his relatives were dead.
As the Interim Prime Minster of Bulgaria, Stefan Yanev declared today, “Today is a Day of Mourning,” as he observed a minute silence before the opening of a Wednesday government session.
According to Maya Argirova (head of the Pirogov Burns Clinic), they were in stable condition in Sofia despite having suffered severe burns.
Medina Lutfi (25) said Lulzim’s girlfriend, Medina Lutfi (35) also said she jumped from the window to escape.
“I was falling asleep and then I hear my fellow passengers screaming. The explosion sounded like a bomb and there was black smoke. Lutfi explained that she heard children crying. There were many children.
Iliya Naikolov was a nightguard at nearby construction sites. He said that he heard the ‘boom, and was the first one to arrive on the scene.
“We ran down the road… there was something burning between the guardrails. Nikolov said that while the initial fire was less, the rear of the bus caught on fire.
According to Mr. Nikolov, the bus was mostly carrying North Macedonian tourists and caught fire on Struma Highway, approximately 26 miles west from Sofia.
Pictured: Forensic investigators and other officials work at the site of a bus accident, in which 46 people were killed
It was sealed and the Bulgarian interim prime minister Stefan Yanev ran to the accident scene. The scene of the accident is shown in this picture.
According to reports, the bus was registered at the Besa Trans tourism agency which organizes tours to Istanbul. It was one of the four that traveled together.
On Tuesday, North Macedonia’s Transport Minister stated to reporters that the vehicle wasn’t registered for international transportation.
Many world leaders have sent condolences for the victims of this tragic accident.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, tweeted the tragedy of loss of life.
He said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are in sorrow, as well as to all the people injured.”
Although there are many fatal bus accidents in Bulgaria, Tuesday’s tragedy was unprecedented, officials said. It is also the worst European disaster in the last decade.
Many road accidents in Bulgaria can be attributed to bad roads, old cars and speeding.
Tuesday’s accident happened on an notorious stretch of highway that has steep gradients but no clearly delineated lines.
Video footage shows people getting ready to board the bus after the tragedy. Many of the victims were captured by security cameras in Istanbul at their hotel as they left Istanbul to catch the bus home.
Officials are at the spot of an accident that resulted in 46 deaths on a road near Bosnek (south of Sofia).
The bus caught fire shortly after it crashed. Pictured is a photo of officials at the site of Tuesday’s bus crash in Bulgaria
Boyko Rashkov (Interior Minister), visited the site in the early hours of the morning and stated that the intense fire had melted the corpses of the deceased.
According to the official, it is unlikely that the driver was asleep since they had been stopped for about 30 minutes at a gas station.
Photographs taken soon after the accident showed that the bus was engulfed by flames and plumes of thick black smoke rising from its surroundings. By daylight, the bus could be seen standing upright in front of the median barrier, all its windows charred, broken and ruined. The guardrail portion was removed from the roadway and left in place.
Rashkov said to reporters on the site of the crash that he had never witnessed anything so horrifying.
Rashkov declared, “The photo is terrible, people are turning to charcoal.” It is difficult to estimate how many of them there were. The buses were all connected and passengers could have changed between them at stops.
Stefan Yanev, Bulgaria’s interim Prime Minister, said that an inquiry into the accident has been opened. This dismisses the suggestion of road conditions being to blame.
Rashkov said it appears three coaches were travelling in convoy when the rear coach struck a temporary crash barrier on one side of the road, which caused it to swerve and hit another barrier in the centre of the highway.
The vehicle burst into flames at some point after the collision. Mr Rashkov suggested that the friction between the coach and the crash barrier may have caused the fire, though the cause has not been revealed by authorities.
Adnan Yasharovski (45), from Sofia said that his daughter Zuleikha, 16, called him to inform him she survived the crash. He travelled to Sofia to visit her.
“She was crying.” He said that her hands were burned but she was otherwise healthy. “She was not able to speak, was crying and was shocked. Because of COVID, I was not permitted to see her in the room.
The bus’s carcass was visible in the images, which had broken through both the guardrails and the curbs.
Bulgaria was an EU country of 7,000,000 people with the 2nd-highest rate for road deaths in all 27 countries, at 89 per million. According to European Commission data,
Official data shows that 628 and 463 people were killed in accidents on the roads in 2019. Many of the accidents could be attributed to bad road conditions, old cars, and speeding.
Ursula von der Leyen (EU chief) sent deepest condolences for the loss of loved ones in tragic bus crash. She also wished for the best for those affected.
She said, “In these horrible times, Europe stands by you.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his sincere condolences to the victims and expressed hope for their’speedy recovery’.
43 Europeans died after a coach transporting a pensioners club collided in an accident in Europe. The train caught fire in south-west France.