No fewer than 45 people have reportedly lost their lives in a bus accident on a highway in western Bulgaria early Tuesday Morning.
It was gathered that the accident happened around 2am local time while travelling along a highway 45 kilometres (26 miles) from the capital, Sofia.
As at press time, the cause of the fatal accident which saw the vehicle crashed in flames is yet to be known.
Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry put the death toll at 45 people, making it the most deadly accident of its kind in the Balkan country’s history.
It was also gathered that 12 children had been on board the vehicle, however, it was not immediately clear if any of them had survived.
The bus, which was heading from Turkey to North Macedonia, appeared to have hit a highway barrier either before or after it caught fire near the village of Bosnek, according to officials.
Seven people who leapt from the burning vehicle were rushed to hospital in Sofia and were in stable conditions, hospital staff said.
Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov, who visited the site of the accident, said the bodies of those who died in the incident were “clustered inside [the bus] and are burnt to ash.”
North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he had spoken to one of the survivors who told him the passengers were sleeping when they were woken by the sound of an explosion.