North Macedonia: three days of national mourning for bus victims

(ANSAmed) – SKOPJE, NOVEMBER 23 – The authorities of North Macedonia have proclaimed for today, tomorrow and the day after three days of national mourning in memory of the 46 victims of the serious road accident that last night involved a tourist bus with a board Macedonian citizens returning from Istanbul. In the disaster, which took place along a highway not far from Sofia, only seven people were saved, currently hospitalized with injuries of various kinds in a hospital in the Bulgarian capital. Their conditions were described as stable. During the three days of mourning, the Macedonian flag on public buildings and diplomatic offices abroad will be placed at half mast. In the meantime, investigations to ascertain the causes of the accident have begun, including checks and technical inspections on the bus that went off the road in the night and which caught fire immediately, leaving no escape for most of the passengers. It is assumed that the driver is distracted or sleepy, or a technical problem with the vehicle. The investigating magistrate Vilma Ruskoska went to Sofia, while the owner of the ‘Besa Trans’, the travel company to which the vehicle belonged, went to the scene of the accident. Dozens of relatives of the victims went to the headquarters of ‘Besa Trans’ in Skopje this morning to await more detailed information on the disaster, while some police patrols also took up positions in front of the travel agency, for reasons of safety. In the middle of the day, however, with no manager of ‘Besa Trans’ showing up, everyone left. Among the seven people injured and hospitalized there is also a Serbian citizen of Albanian ethnicity and his Macedonian girlfriend from Kumanovo. This was confirmed by the Serbian ambassador to Bulgaria to the regional media. It seems that the seven survivors of the massacre were sleeping in the back of the bus and at the time of the accident they managed to break the window by jumping out and escaping to safety. Due to the disaster, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev postponed his resignation from the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDSM), announced today in front of the party’s board. (ANSAmed).

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