Zaev: There are Serb victims in the accident in Bulgaria; Ambassador: No information
At least 46 people were killed when a car with North Macedonian license plates caught fire in the western part of Bulgaria.Source: B92, Tanjug, Prva
Serbian Ambassador to North Macedonia Nevena Jovanovic pointed out for TV Prva that the country is in shock after the accident in Bulgaria. She pointed out that there were no Serbian citizens among the injured.
"A sad day has dawned for Macedonia. Our information is based on media findings... A great tragedy... According to the information we have, there are no indications that there are any injured citizens of Serbia. Macedonia is in shock...", Jovanović pointed out.
However, Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, stated that among the victims of the tragic accident of the North Macedonian bus in Bulgaria, there are also citizens of Serbia.
"I am in contact with the Prime Minister (of Bulgaria) Stefan Janev... The largest number of victims are citizens of North Macedonia, but there are also citizens of Serbia," Zaev said, MIA reports. He added that he had the opportunity to talk to one of the survivors who told him that a terrible explosion was heard. "They managed to break one window and save several people. Unfortunately, others did not make it. It is a terrible tragedy because the largest number of victims are young people: 12 children under the age of 18, and others aged 20-30", said Zaev. MIA reports that the bus belonged to the "Besa trans" agency and that it used to transport passengers from an excursion in Istanbul.
As possible causes of the bus accident, the director of the Bulgarian police, Borislav Sarafov, stated "driver's mistake or an undetermined technical malfunction" of the vehicle. Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said that the protective fence of the highway had been breached and that the fire in the bus may have broken out as a result of a spark in the contact of the vehicle with the fence, local media reported.
As a reminder, most of 46 victims are tourists from North Macedonia, and for now, it is not known what the exact cause of the accident is - some media state that it was driver's fault, while others believe that it is a technically defective vehicle.
Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that the accident happened on the Struma highway, about two hours after midnight.
Bulgarian Interior Ministry official Nikolay Nikolov told national television that seven people with burns were taken by ambulance to Pirogov Hospital in Sofia. The youngest patient is 15 years old. According to the North Macedonian news agency MIA, twins were also killed in the accident.