2021 Bulgaria bus crash

2021 Bulgaria bus crash
Date 23 November 2021
Time 02:00 (UTC+2)
Location Near Bosnek, Pernik Province, Bulgaria
Coordinates 42°29′27″N 23°07′53″E / 42.49083°N 23.13139°E / 42.49083; 23.13139Coordinates: 42°29′27″N 23°07′53″E / 42.49083°N 23.13139°E / 42.49083; 23.13139
Deaths 45[1][2][3]
Non-fatal injuries 7

On 23 November 2021, at 2 a.m. local time, a Macedonian bus crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria.[4] The accident happened on the Struma motorway near the village of Bosnek, south-west of Sofia.[5] Fifty passengers and two drivers were on the bus.[6] Forty-five people died in the crash, including twelve children. Seven other passengers suffered burns but initially survived.[7][8][9] It is currently the deadliest road accident in Bulgarian history, and has been referred to as the deadliest bus crash in Europe in a decade.[10][11]

The Dolna Dikanya to Dragichevo section of the Struma Motorway was temporarily closed following the incident.[7]

Background

According to European Commission data, in 2019 Bulgaria had the second highest road fatality rate in the EU. After the accident, the mayor of the nearby town of Pernik told local media outlets that the motorway was in poor condition and accidents were frequent in the area.[12][7]

Taken in 7 April 2009
A section of the Struma motorway. The crash site is at the base of the furthest terraced hill

Accident

A bus carrying Macedonian tourists returning to the capital Skopje from a weekend holiday trip from Istanbul, registered under the tourist agency "Besa Trans",[13] crashed on a motorway near the Bulgarian village of Bosnek around 02:00 local time.[14] The vehicle hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire.[7] A passenger later told reporters that he had been asleep and was woken by an explosion.[15]

The Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov [bg] stated that some of the victims' bodies were "completely burned."[8] According to Bulgaria's Deputy Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov, the passengers were trapped inside the vehicle after it caught fire and died "mainly of suffocation."[16] Seven passengers (five males and two females) managed to escape through windows with serious burns. All seven were hospitalised in critical condition.[7] Officials stated that the most likely cause of the bus crash was due to human error.[17]

The majority of the victims were Macedonian Albanians.[18][19][20] Forty-four people were confirmed dead during the immediate aftermath of the crash,[21][22] but after an additional search on 26 November, the body of a child was recovered, bringing the death toll to 45.[23]

Reactions

Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev described the crash as a tragedy, saying "[l]et's hope we learn lessons from this tragic incident and we can prevent such incidents in the future." The government declared Wednesday a National Day of Mourning for both victims of the crash and for the earlier deaths from a fire at a nursing home in Royak. Numerous politicians from various countries expressed their dismay at the loss of life.[24][25]

The Macedonian government declared three national days of mourning for the bus crash.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Human error likely cause of deadly Bulgaria bus crash, investigators say". Reuters. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Chief of Bulgaria's National Investigation Service Sarafov: 44 people died in Nov. 23 bus crash". Nova TV. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  3. ^ AFP-Agence France Presse. "One More Body Found In Bulgaria Bus Crash". Barron's. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  4. ^ Albeck-Ripka, Livia (23 November 2021). "Bulgaria Bus Crash Kills at Least 45". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Bus crash in Bulgaria kills 45 Macedonian tourists". NBC News. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  6. ^ Albeck-Ripka, Livia (23 November 2021). "Bulgaria Bus Crash Kills at Least 45". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Bulgaria bus crash: Children among at least 45 killed". BBC News. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b Anonym. "The number of victims of road traffic accidents in Bulgaria rises to 46 | tellerreport.com". tellerreport.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Children among dozens killed in Bulgaria bus crash". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  10. ^ Tsolova, Tsvetelia; Sekularac, Ivana (23 November 2021). "Bus carrying North Macedonian tourists crashes in flames in Bulgaria, killing 45". Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Flaming bus crash in Bulgaria kills 46, mostly North Macedonian tourists". CNBC. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Bus crashes, catches fire in Bulgaria; at least 45 dead". AP NEWS. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Fire guts bus carrying young people in Bulgaria, killing at least 45". www.msn.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Flaming bus crash in Bulgaria kills 46, mostly North Macedonian tourists". CNBC. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Bus crash in Bulgaria kills at least 45 people". Associated Press. 23 November 2021. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Human error likely caused Bulgaria's deadly bus crash, say investigators". Euronews. 26 November 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  17. ^ News, A. B. C. "Official: Human error likeliest cause of Bulgaria bus crash". ABC News. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Bulgaria bus crash: Children among the 46 that were killed". BBC. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  19. ^ "At least 45 people killed in bus accident in Bulgaria". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Откриен идентитетот на патниците во автобуската несреќа во Бугарија". 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Human error likely cause of deadly Bulgaria bus crash, investigators say". Reuters. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Chief of Bulgaria's National Investigation Service Sarafov: 44 people died in Nov. 23 bus crash". Nova TV. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  23. ^ AFP-Agence France Presse. "One More Body Found In Bulgaria Bus Crash". Barron's. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  24. ^ Reuters, Radina Gigova, CNN and. "12 children among 45 people killed in Bulgaria bus fire". CNN. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  25. ^ Tsolova, Tsvetelia; Sekularac, Ivana (23 November 2021). "Bus carrying North Macedonian tourists crashes in flames in Bulgaria, killing 45". Reuters. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  26. ^ "N. Macedonia declares 3 days of mourning after accident that took lives of 46". Euronews Albania. 23 November 2021. Retrieved 24 November 2021.

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