A tourist bus with North Macedonian license plates crashed and burst into on western Bulgaria highway.
The bus, which was registered in North Macedonia, was travelling from Istanbul to Skopje.
According Bulgarian Interior Ministry official Nikolai Nikolov, at least 45 people, including several children, were killed in the horrific accident that happened early Tuesday morning, around 2am local time.
Twelve children died in the accident, Bulgarian media reported. Other reports said that 46 people were killed.
A handful of survivors, some with severe burns, were taken to a hospital in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.
Maya Argirova, the head of the hospital’s burn unit, said some victims were injured jumping through the windows as they tried to escape from the bus.
The cause of the crash remains unknown.
There were 52 people on the bus. According to Bulgarian media, all 50 passengers were Albanian nationals, while both drivers had North Macedonian passports.
Bulgaria‘s Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said the “horrifying” disaster will be investigated.