Bulgaria bus crash kills at least 45 people

At least 45 people including 12 children have died as a bus carrying mostly North Macedonian tourists crashed in flames on a highway in western Bulgaria hours before daybreak.

Seven people who leapt from the burning bus were taken to hospital in Sofia and were in stable conditions, hospital staff said. They had suffered burns and one had a broken leg.

Bulgaria’s interior ministry said 45 people died, making it the most deadly bus accident in the country’s history.

The interim interior minister, Boyko Rashkov, said bodies were “clustered inside and are burnt to ash”.

“The picture is terrifying, terrifying. I have never seen anything like that before,” he told reporters at the site.

The cause of the accident was unclear but the bus appeared to have hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire, Bulgarian officials said.