According to police, at least 45 individuals have perished in an overnight bus accident in Bulgaria. "Fourty-five individuals were killed" on a highway west of Sofia, according to Nikolay Nikolov, the Interior Ministry's chief of the fire safety section. The government then revised the figure to 46.
According to Ljubomir Joveski, the head prosecutor of North Macedonia, who visited the accident site, twelve children were confirmed deceased. Interim Bulgarian Prime Minister Stefan Yanev raced to the site. "We have an enormous tragedy here," he told reporters. "I'd want to use this occasion to express my condolences to the victims' families," Yanev added. "Let us hope that we can learn from this unfortunate episode and avoid such events in the future."
Authorities were not immediately clear on how the tragedy occurred, and no reason of the disaster was given. "The two first versions of the disaster are a human error by the driver or a technology failure," stated Bulgarian investigative service chief Borislav Sarafov.
The government has proclaimed three days of national mourning, during which flags will be lowered to half-staff and all public activities will be canceled.
Survivors of the crash have reported a possible explosion of an undetermined origin as the cause of the accident.