According to Bulgarian officials, Bulgarian officials said that in Sofia, Bulgaria, human error was most likely the cause of a severe bus accident in Bulgaria at the beginning of Tuesday, including 12 children44. A person died.
According to officials, there were 52 people on the bus, most of them North Macedonian, but one of four returning from a trip to Istanbul. Turkey. It hit a guardrail on a highway in western Bulgaria, ignited and turned into a burnt shell. Officials said passengers were trapped because both exits were blocked.
Investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, sending shockwave sadness to neighboring Balkan countries.
Boris Sarafov, deputy prosecutor and head of Bulgaria’s national investigation service, denied the act of terrorism on Thursday, adding that the investigators also proved that there was no blast.
At a press conference in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, Sarafov said for the time being, “the major version (of the event) is a human error.”
“The highway guardrails where the accident happened are dangerous and one of the main causes of collisions,” he said. He added that investigators are investigating whether inadequate highway traffic organizations, such as lane markings, lack of proper signs and reflectors, could have caused the collision.
Chief investigator Marian Marinov said the bus driver tried to stop before hitting the guardrail, but got into the guardrail probably because it was dark and raining.
“Witnesses said the fire broke out shortly after the first collision and the bus was immediately filled with smoke,” he said.
“No one was able to get out of the front door because of the strong fire there. Everyone gathered in front of the second door in the middle of the bus, which was blocked by guardrails,” he said. Said.
According to Sarafov, forensic investigators have found a total of 44 bodies so far, one less than the 45 officials initially reported. He called the discrepancy a “mystery,” and added that investigators were trying to see if one passenger had moved to another bus or survived the collision.
It is known that five citizens of North Macedonia, one Serb, and one Belgian survived. They have been taken to Sofia’s Pirogov Emergency Hospital and are in stable condition.
One of them, who broke the window to escape from the burning bus, testified to the prosecutor that eight had jumped out, said chief prosecutor spokesman Siyka Mileva.
Sarafov said Thursday that the victims died from suffocation from fire smoke, not from the effects of the crash. Officials added that soot particles were found in the respiratory system.
Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Rashkov told reporters at the crash site on Tuesday, “I have never seen anything more terrifying.” The body must be identified by DNA testing.
Bulgarian and North Macedonian media describe it as the most deadly bus accident in the history of both countries.
North Macedonian authorities have revoked the license of the travel agency that planned the trip and banned the travel business. Two customs officers were also suspended because they allowed the bus involved in the accident to cross the border without a vehicle license.
Hundreds of elementary school students gathered outside Ismail Qemali School on Wednesday in honor of their six classmates who were killed in an accident in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia.
“No one wanted what happened. It’s a big tragedy,” said school teacher Metush Memedi. “We have five children from one family, two of whom were in grade 9, one in grade 8, one in grade 6, and one in second.”
Visar Ganiu, the mayor of Skopje’s municipality, said 16 of the victims of the crash were welcomed from his district.
“I would like to express my condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all those who died in the tragic accident,” Ganiu said. “We are hurt with them too.”
McGrath reported from Bucharest, Romania. Konstantin Testorides in Skopje, North Macedonia contributed.
By Veselin Toshkov and Stephen McGrath