Bulgaria. Coach fire. The causes of the accident. Comments and questions about road safety

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Tuesday that people who survived the tragic coach accident, which killed at least 46 people, got out of the burning vehicle through the window. They managed to break one of the windows and save a few people. Unfortunately, the rest did not succeed, he told reporters.

Seven people, four men and three women, managed to get out of a coach filled with tourists, which, after hitting a highway barrier, burst into flames. Among the 46 victims of this incident – mostly young Macedonian citizens between the ages of 20 and 30 – were 12 children.

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One man told the Sloboden Peczat newspaper that he had lost ten family members in the coach crash. – I lost my whole family to the fire, he said. Among the deceased there were, among others, a young couple and five students of a primary school in Skopje.

Adnan Yasharovski told the media that his 16-year-old daughter Zuleikha called him to say she had survived the crash. He told Reuters that he went to Sofia to see her at the hospital. – The daughter was crying, her hands were burned – he informed.

The bus burned down on the highway, BulgariaVASSIL DONEV / PAP / EPA

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev described the accident as a “terrible” catastrophe. – I met the wounded in a hospital in Bulgaria. My heart broke when I heard my father cry who lost his child, Zaev said.

The head of the Macedonian government reported that he spoke to one of the survivors who told him that the passenger was asleep when they were suddenly awakened by the sound of an explosion. – They managed to break one of the windows and save a few people. Unfortunately, the rest did not succeed, Zaev told reporters.

Questions about the actions of the authorities on road safety

The accident in Bulgaria sparked an avalanche of speculation as the government led by Zoran Zaev promised to revise the licensing of transport companies. Some citizens believe that the promises to increase road safety have not been realized.

The bus burned down on the highway, BulgariaVASSIL DONEV / PAP / EPA

Nikola Atanasovski, who lost his cousin in a coach accident in 2019, assessed that “it happened again”. – It shouldn’t. I feel angry – he added.

Preliminary causes of a coach accident in Bulgaria

The bus belonged to the Besa Trans travel company, which organizes tours around Europe. Within hours of the accident, relatives of people who traveled to Turkey from Besa Trans last week gathered outside the company’s Skopje office, anxiously awaiting information on the fate of their loved ones.

Bulgaria’s interim prime minister, Stefan Janew, described the event as “a huge tragedy”. “Let us hope to learn lessons from this tragic incident and prevent such events from happening in the future,” he said.

The head of the Bulgarian investigative service, Borislav Sarafov, said that the cause of the accident was “a human error of the driver or a technical fault of the vehicle”.

Main photo source: VASSIL DONEV / PAP / EPA