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Bulgaria: Dozens including children killed in bus fire

At least 46 people have died after a bus crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, local officials say. The incident happened on a motorway near the village of Bosnek, southwest of the capital Sofia.

Children were among the victims, ministry official Nikolai Nikolov told BTV television.

The cause of the crash and fire is being investigated. Local reports say it may have hit a curb or a guardrail. Seven people were reportedly taken to hospital with burns.

North Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said the coach party was returning to the capital Skopje from a weekend holiday trip to the Turkish city of Istanbul, according to Reuters.

The bus reportedly had North Macedonian plates.

The area around the site of Tuesday’s incident on the Struma motorway has now been sealed off.

After arriving at the scene, Bulgarian Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov said victims’ bodies were “completely burnt out”, BTV reports.

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has already contacted his Bulgarian counterpart to discuss the incident.