At least 46 people, including 12 children, were killed in an accident on a highway in Bulgaria, as a result of which a bus from Macedonia burned down, the Bulgarian BGNES agency reports.

“According to preliminary data, a bus registered in the Republic of North Macedonia crashed on the 31st kilometer of the Struma Highway. As a result of the accident, 46 people were killed,” the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ website says.

The accident occurred at about 03.00 local time on the 31st kilometer of the Sofia — Blagoevgrad highway. The bus carrying 52 people crossed the Bulgarian border the night before.

Among the dead is a bus driver. Seven people survived, including two women and five men, all of them were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The BTA news agency reports that people were traveling from Turkey to Northern Macedonia, this is partially confirmed by Turkish NTV.

According to the NOVA TV channel, all the victims are citizens of Northern Macedonia. The Prime Minister of this country, Zoran Zuev, said that in the near future he would arrive at the place of emergency, as well as the heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Bujar Osmani and Venko Filipchenko, would arrive there.

Now there are Bulgarian police officers, firefighters and medics there. All the survivors were taken to the hospital, their condition is stable.

The Bulgarian authorities are considering three reasons for the incident: a driver who fell asleep, a wet road, or a technical malfunction. Also, according to one version, the fire could have started even before the accident.