North Macedonia declares three days of mourning over deadly bus accident

Logo 2021-11-24 01:11    Hamro Biratnagar

The government of North Macedonia has declared three days of national mourning over a tragic bus accident that happened in Bulgaria early Tuesday morning.

A total of 46 people, including 12 children, were killed when the bus traveling from Istanbul, Turkey to Skopje caught fire and crashed into a highway barrier in western Bulgaria. Only seven passengers, including five citizens of North Macedonia, survived the accident, and are being treated in hospital in Sofia.

Borislav Sarafov, head of Bulgaria's National Investigation Service, said that DNA analyses are expected to be completed in a few days to identify the victims. According to some media reports, the majority of the victims are ethnic Albanians living in North Macedonia.

The three days of national mourning will begin on Tuesday, with the cancellation of events across North Macedonia as well as in its diplomatic missions and embassies worldwide.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who traveled to Bulgaria following the accident, told reporters in Sofia that "this is a huge tragedy," expressing his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

On Tuesday, the Chief Public Prosecutor of North Macedonia, Ljubomir Joveski, told reporters from Sofia that the cause of the accident is still unclear, and an investigation is ongoing. Human error by the driver or a technical problem with the vehicle could be to blame.

Transport Minister of North Macedonia Blagoj Bochvarski also said a procedure has been launched to revoke the work permit of the travel company Besa Trans, as initial findings have revealed that it did not have a license for the bus involved in the deadly accident.