PHOTO + VIDEO | LIVE: All information about the serious traffic accident in Bulgaria

The burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria
The burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria / Photo: EPA-EFE / VASSIL DONEV

Early Tuesday morning in Bulgaria, 70 km from Sofia, a severe traffic accident occurred in which a tourist bus burned down. The accident killed 45 passengers, and seven were slightly injured and taken to hospital.

According to the survivors, an explosion was heard before the accident. The causes of the accident will be determined by the forensic examinations of the Bulgarian investigators.

Macedonian bus Bulgaria
The burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria / Photo EPA-EFE / VASSIL

13.07. The son of the second driver of the bus for BNT reveals: My father was sleeping in the cabin, I was in Sofia and I recognized the body

Bulgarian National Television BNT reporters found the son of the second bus driver who was sleeping in a special cab for drivers in the middle of the bus at the time of the tragic accident on the Struma highway.

The television reveals that Kadrim Memedi is the name of the second driver, and his son Besar exclusively told BNT that his father's body was found in the sleeping cabin. He did not drive, but it has not been confirmed. The son was in Bulgaria to identify the body and returned home.

Kadrim Memedi
Kadrim Memedi with BNT reporter / Photo: Bulgarian National Television

11.33. Bulgarian Interior Ministry: Man arrested for inappropriate comments on Facebook about bus accident

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man who posted comments on Facebook related to the tragic accident on a passenger bus on the Struma highway, incompatible with moral and ethical norms, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said.

The person who was detained in Sofia by officials of the General Directorate for Fighting Organized Crime after receiving a signal, had a criminal record.

11.03. Director of Forensic Medicine vs. Bulgarian prosecutors: I saw 44 complete bodies and 45 body parts

The director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Aleksandar Stankov, in a telephone statement for "Free Press" says that 44 autopsies of complete bodies have been completed, as well as parts of 45 bodies. Stankov categorically claims that he saw parts of the 45th body.

His claim is contrary to the claim of the Bulgarian prosecution that 44 bodies were found at the scene of the tragedy, and that 8 people survived the accident.

10.51. Hypotheses about the eighth passenger: These are the doubts of the Bulgarian investigators about the rescued from the missing bus

A spokeswoman for Chief Prosecutor Siika Mileva said that during her conversation with one of the survivors, she said that 8 people were rescued, not 7. At the same time, 44 bodies were found at the scene of the tragedy. Therefore, investigators are testing the hypothesis whether there is another survivor and where he is.

- I talked to the boy who broke the glass in the back of the bus, he told me that eight passengers were saved. I asked, aren't there seven. He said, no, I counted correctly, eight of us were saved. We counted 44 bodies of dead passengers. It is a mystery where one person is, said the spokesperson of the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office, Siyka Mileva, at today's press conference of the Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor and his investigators.

10.45. The City of Skopje will allocate two million denars for the families of the victims from Skopje in the bus accident

The City of Skopje will allocate two million denars for the families of the victims of the bus accident in Skopje two days ago in Bulgaria.

At the proposal of the Mayor Danela Arsovska, the Council of the City of Skopje at its next session will decide on granting financial assistance in a sign of solidarity with the families and respect for the victims.

10.31. Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office: 44 bodies found at the scene of the tragedy, 8 rescued, but one missing

Human error is the leading and main version of the tragedy on the Struma highway. This was stated at a briefing by the Bulgarian Deputy Chief Prosecutor and Director of the National Investigation Service Borislav Sarafov.

- The version of a terrorist act has been properly researched by us. We categorically reject it, said Deputy Chief Prosecutor Borislav Sarafov during the briefing.

10.24. Sarafov: The dead died as a result of suffocation from the fire

Autopsies show that all the dead died from suffocation, not from the blow. This means that they were alive at the time of the fire. The final assessment of the causes of the accident will have to be given by the final analysis, but the leading version at the moment is a human error - as the cause of the accident, said at today's press conference the Bulgarian Deputy Prosecutor General and Director of the National Investigation Service Borislav Sarafov.

Sarafov pointed out that the examinations and analyzes of the bus continue, which should give an answer for the reasons and the manner of the fire, as well as for the traffic analysis for the reasons for which the bus left the path of movement.

9.40. The hospitalized in "Pirogov" are in stable condition, one will be operated today

All patients injured in the bus accident on the Struma highway are in stable general condition, and there is no danger to their lives, Pirogov Hospital announced today.

Two patients who are also in good general condition were operated on yesterday. The injured who were in intensive care were transferred today to the ward of the Clinic for Burns and Plastic Surgery. One of the injured should be operated on today.

9.35. The autopsy of the dead in the tragic accident has been completed, 45 people are waiting to be identified

The autopsy of the 45 victims of the tragic accident that happened two days ago on the highway "Struma" in Bulgaria has ended, confirmed for "Free Press" the director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Alexander Stankov. He, together with two colleagues from Skopje, assisted the Bulgarian experts in performing the autopsies.

- All 45 autopsies have been completed. DNA material from Skopje has not yet arrived for comparison. The identification of the victims has not been completed yet, and after that is completed, the state will organize the transport to return to the country, said Dr. Stankov.

9.00. The Bulgarian chief prosecutor is coming to Skopje to take DNA samples to identify the victims

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev, accompanied by an investigator, will arrive in Skopje today to personally submit a request for legal assistance to the Prosecutor's Office in Northern Macedonia. Bulgarian prosecutors need to obtain DNA profiles from relatives of those killed in the bus crash to identify the victims.

According to the MIA correspondent from Sofia, today the Bulgarian prosecutor's office should publish new information about the tragedy.

8.56. VIDEO | Jordanova Peshevska: Accident is something that can not be prevented, we have an accident, and accidents can be prevented

We now live with the consequences of the accident that happened two days ago, with the legal and social consequences. But in the early days of shock it is not our turn to remember, and perhaps that is the most important thing - dealing with post-traumatic stress. We had a traumatic situation at the school in Cair where more than the dead children were studying.

- Condolences to the families and friends of the victims, the loss is great, this is a loss on a national scale. Colleagues from Bulgaria provided psychological assistance to the surviving victims, which is very good. There are several parallel states. First is the psychological shock of those who participated in the accident and are still unaware of what happened. If they are not provided with timely psychological help, they may later return to the traumatic experience. The second segment is like a pebble thrown into water. I would call on the Ministry of Health to respond to the families of the victims. Larger families are also affected, as is the circle of friends and the phenomenon of death that occurs in schools. This topic should be discussed with the children. "I understand that some school psychologists have already started talking to children," said Dimitrinka Jordanova Peshevska, a psychologist and head of the psychology department at the American College University, an expert in health psychology who has worked at the WHO on issues that address such situations.

8.50. VIDEO | Carrier from Bulgaria: It is absurd how the bus burned down in such a short time

The owner of one of the largest transport companies in Haskovo, Sebakhtin Ismail, explains for the Bulgarian portal "Haskovo" that something strange happened during the bus accident in which 45 passengers died, because, according to him, it is impossible for such a bus to burn in such a short time.

Ismail claims that all buses produced after 2018, and especially from the "Mercedes" brand, have built-in security systems, which include fire-fighting installation.

- In case of fire, the new generation buses are made to extinguish themselves - it is blocked from traffic, the brakes are activated and the doors open automatically. It is equipped with external cameras that photograph everything on the road, including signs. If the driver starts to fall asleep for some reason, for example, he falls asleep, his seat starts to vibrate and the vehicle itself reacts and returns to the right direction, he explains.

8.25. Joveski: The thesis about the tubes is speculation, the Bulgarian prosecutors are working on the investigation

Macedonian authorities take biological material from relatives for DNA analysis. The thesis about the tubes is speculation, the Bulgarian prosecutors are working on the investigation, the state prosecutor of the Republic of Northern Macedonia Lubomir Joveski told BTV and explained that during the inspection of the burned bus on the Struma highway, he saw plastic tubes that did not burn.

Joveski explained that biological material is currently being taken from the relatives of those killed in Macedonia to perform DNA tests and identify the bodies. He said the Macedonian prosecution would be activated only after the case was investigated by Bulgarian prosecutors, as they would find nothing in parallel.

7.52. I once traveled with "Besa Trans" and never again, says the athlete Drita Islami

"First of all, I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims," ​​athlete Drita Islami began her story about her experience with the Besa Tours travel to Bulgaria. "I feel the need to share this bad experience, because it is the same agency that killed 45 people in the same place, in Bulgaria," she said.

- In 2019, when I was supposed to go to Sofia Airport, I bought a ticket from this same company. Their vehicle was stopped by the police for a technical inspection. The police stopped him twice more the same week but somehow released him, but this time NO. Together with five other passengers, we witnessed that the company's vehicle did not pass the braking test. The handbrake did not work at all !, says our best athlete for the Almakos portal.

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22:17 h. Two customs officers and a manager will answer, they did not record the exit of the bus from the country

The Customs Administration announced tonight that after the checks, it was determined that it was not recorded at all that the bus of "Besa Trans", which burned on the highway in Bulgaria, left the country. Two customs officers have been suspended for misconduct.

Regarding the information presented to the public regarding the competencies of the Customs Administration of the Republic of Northern Macedonia in controlling the entry and exit of vehicles and carriers performing international free transport of passengers, as well as the action in this case, we inform you about the following:

Pursuant to Article 49 of the Law on Road Transport, when performing free transport of passengers in international road traffic, depending on the type of transport, the carrier must have: license certificate, travel order in original, evident sheet for passenger transport , an agreement concluded between the carrier and the service provider and a correctly and accurately completed travel form on a prescribed form, signed and certified by the carrier and certified by the competent customs services.

Based on these attached documents, the Customs Administration electronically records the transport at the entrance or exit at the first and second crossing of the vehicle through the border crossing of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, depending on the transport route.

For the vehicle with license plates SK 0284 BA of the carrier BESA Trans from Skopje, in the period from 15.10.2020 to 11.11.2021, the Customs Administration has registered several crossings, through the border crossings: GCI Deve Bair, GCI Blace, GCI Kjafasan Delchevo, for different types of transport, including records of the number of the Excerpt from the License for performing public transport in the international road traffic - free transport of passengers. The authenticity of these attached documents will be further checked by the carrier.

Initial findings from the internal control show that On 18.11.2021, the customs officers did not electronically record the exit of the vehicle with license plates SK0284BA on the carrier BESA Trans from Skopje, only the registration sheet was verified. for passenger transport.

"For the identified irregularities in the conduct, for two customs officers who were on duty when the vehicle left the country, measures will be taken to suspend the workplace, and for their immediate manager will follow a measure of sanction," said in the statement from the Customs Administration.

20:33 h. Besa Trans: We did not smuggle oil and firecrackers

The Besa Trans agency denies in a statement that its bus, which burned down on a highway in Bulgaria yesterday, was carrying supplies of oil or other fuels, and there were no pyrotechnic materials. They say that only the investigation can give the correct information about the accident.

"As an agency, we are informing the public, as well as the families of the tragically killed, that the buses never had any luggage with oil or pyrotechnics. These are speculations by those who want to take advantage of this tragedy. The total capacity of the bus was 450 to 500 liters of oil, for use only for the needs of the bus. "Once again, we ask the media not to use this misinformation, which hurts the families even more," said Besa Trans.

The reaction of the company comes after some of the Bulgarian media reported, and the Macedonian ones, that there were oil pipes in the bus, due to which the vehicle burned very quickly, and everything started from the front.

18:51 h. Ministry of Transport revokes Besa Trans license

The Besa Trans bus, which killed 45 people and injured seven in a horrific car crash on Bulgaria's Struma Highway, did not have a license to operate international free passenger transport or any other form of public transport. The vehicle is not registered in the electronic records of issued licenses, due to which the company "Besa Trans BTB" has its license revoked, ie it is prohibited to perform activities, informs the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

- According to the officially submitted data from the Ministry of Interior, regarding the burned vehicle with registration number SK-0284-BA owned by the company "Besa Trans BTB", which participated in the accident with tragic consequences in the Republic of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Transport and communications found that for the said vehicle no excerpt from the license for performing international free transport for passengers, nor for any other type of public passenger transport. The same vehicle is not registered in the electronic records of issued licenses and excerpts from licenses for performing public domestic and / or international passenger transport maintained by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said the relevant Ministry.

The statement states that the Ministry of Transport and Communications has registered four licensed vehicles of the company "Besa Trans BTB", and the vehicle that participated in the accident is not among them.

- Pursuant to Article 12 of the Law on Road Transport, due to the shortcomings identified by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and also in order to prevent any other action by the company that could cause negative consequences , the company "Besa Trans BTB" has had its license revoked, ie it has been banned from operating. In addition, the company is obliged to immediately deposit the license for international free passenger transport and excerpts from the license for international free passenger transport to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, according to the Ministry.

Additionally, they add, at the last session the Government instructed the State Inspectorate for Transport to perform an extraordinary inspection of the carrier "Besa Trans BTB".

-The Ministry of Transport and Communications is in full coordination with other state institutions and is available with the entire database, emphasize by the Ministry.

17:30 h. Prosecutor and investigator from Bulgaria come to the country to take DNA from the families of the victims on the highway "Struma"

A team of six investigators from the Bulgarian National Investigation Service and three prosecutors from the Pernik District Prosecutor's Office will work on the pre-investigation procedure for the serious traffic accident on the Struma highway, which killed 45 citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

This was announced for "24 Hours" by Siika Mileva, spokeswoman for the Public Prosecutor of Bulgaria. According to the MIA correspondent from Sofia, this is due to the international aspect of the case, where the prosecutors from the International Department of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Bulgaria gave full assistance and coordination in sending a request for legal aid.

In the framework of international legal cooperation, the shortest possible deadlines for submitting the necessary documents are specified. In this regard, the Chief Prosecutor of Bulgaria Ivan Geshev will send to Skopje a prosecutor and an investigator from the team, who will submit the request for legal assistance to the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. Given the speed and efficiency, the team will personally receive the necessary documents, Mileva added.

In order to identify the dead Macedonian citizens, the Bulgarian team will also receive DNA profiles of the victims 'relatives to compare with the victims' DNA profiles to identify them as soon as possible, she added. The necessary organization for fast and effective investigation has already been created, there is a division of labor into separate departments.

The Chief Prosecutor of Bulgaria Ivan Geshev is in constant communication with the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Ljubomir Joveski. The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria is working to determine the causes of the serious accident, as well as to quickly identify the bodies of the killed Macedonian citizens.

16:36 h. Osmani: Identification will take at least a week, investigation is a priority for Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office

The investigation into the bus accident is a top priority for the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office and they are working to get results from the investigation as soon as possible, said Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani after meeting in Sofia with the Bulgarian Prosecutor General in charge of the investigation, adding that speculation this case does not assist in the investigation procedure.

In a statement to the media, Osmani stressed that the meeting with the prosecutor discussed the details of identification and it was agreed to speed up the procedure for collecting biological material from relatives of the deceased in Skopje, a procedure that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is already doing and expects to be completed. to start the process, in which our experts are actively involved. The process of identification of the dead, said the Foreign Minister, is expected to last at least seven days.

- The process of identification based on DNA materials will take seven days and it is important for families, it is important for the state in the field of planning. I want to apologize once again to the families that we could not give and we still can not give them individual information regarding the deceased, because we have to wait for the identification process. But I asked them today to return to Skopje, because it will still take at least seven days to complete that process. "Once the identification of all the bodies is completed, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ie the state, will take over the bodies and organize transport with funeral vehicles to Skopje and then from Skopje they will be able to pick up the families," Osmani said before entering the Main Court in Sofia.

At the meeting with the investigating prosecutor, they also talked about the investigation of the bus accident, but also about the speculations that are in the public. It was emphasized that the speculations do not help the investigation, that they are harmful, inaccurate and that they did not arise in any way by the investigation itself and the prosecutors, but that the process has yet to be completed.

- At this stage I can not share everything, but it is important that the speculations that are in the public are incorrect, that we should not continue this trend of speculation in terms of reasons, because it worsens the already difficult emotional state of families , however, postpones the investigation itself, Osmani said when asked to share details of the conversation about the accident.

A conversation was held with the survivors who are in the hospital, and our prosecutors are also involved in the investigation, who were on the spot yesterday, and during the day they exchanged information and will continue to exchange.

- I got the impression that a top priority is given here in the Prosecutor's Office in Bulgaria to this investigation and that they are seriously engaged to come up with results as soon as possible, because they are aware first, how important it is to complete the identification quickly, to hand over the bodies to families and secondly - to give the final analysis of the investigation itself, said Osmani.

The Bulgarian Public Prosecutor's Office has asked for understanding, because this process is complex and must be properly processed in order for the results to be objective, explained the Macedonian Foreign Minister.

According to the Foreign Minister, the DNA analysis will be performed in Bulgaria, but it is being worked on, some of the samples are taken from each deceased and in Skopje for further investigation.

- The institutions are in close communication, in open cooperation, exchanging all data regarding this tragedy, added Osmani.

He informed that the visit is allowed to some of the injured who are hospitalized in the hospital in Sofia, but not to those who underwent surgery, which is an exception, because due to the covid-pandemic in Bulgaria there is a ban on visiting hospitals.

16:19 h. The Municipality of Studenicani held an emergency session, will provide financial assistance to the families of the victims

The council of the municipality of Studenicani today held an emergency session due to the tragedy that happened yesterday in Bulgaria. The municipality of Studenicani was most affected by this tragedy - a total of twenty of its inhabitants lost their lives, and four survived and are out of danger.

On behalf of the Council and on behalf of the Mayor Mr. Azem Sadiki, the municipality in post on Facebook once again expressed his deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in yesterday's accident in Bulgaria.

The council of the municipality of Studenicani at today's session made a decision to distribute financial aid to the families of those killed in the tragic accident that happened yesterday in Bulgaria, as a sign of solidarity with their families, say the municipality.

The Municipal Council also encouraged the competent authorities to continue the investigation until the end to fully clear the case.
The municipal council also formed a commission with two representatives from the municipal council and one employee from the municipal administration, who will decide on the distribution of these funds, to be in contact with their families and for any other assistance.

We hope that with this act of ours today we will contribute to alleviating the pain of family members who lost their relatives in the tragic accident, say the Municipality of Studenicani.

15:45: Deve Bair customs will investigate who missed the unlicensed bus

As of this morning, the customs is conducting an internal control over who missed the Besa Trans bus that was without a license at the Deve Bair border crossing.

Since early this morning, the Sector for Professional Responsibility of the Customs Administration is at the BCP Deve Bair in order to control in detail the actions of the carrier and customs officials, in accordance with the competencies prescribed by the Law on Road Transport on the day of departure of the bus in question. The subject of control is the action for the specific carrier and vehicle in the previous period at the same border crossing, say the Customs.

14:47 h: The investigation of the burnt bus will last at least six months: The causes of the accident will be discovered, the culprits will be more difficult

The investigation will last for six months the accident in which 45 passengers from Macedonia were killed and seven people were injured after a Macedonian bus of the company "Besa Trans" caught fire on the highway "Struma", say the Bulgarian experts for the local media. They believe that the causes of the accident will be announced soon, but not the culprits.

The Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski stated at a press conference that the investigation into the bus accident is being conducted by the Bulgarian investigative bodies, and that a team from the Ministry of Interior has been sent to assist in the investigation.

13:04: Shocking testimony of the teenager Zuleyha: I woke up screaming and screaming, I tried to break the window… I failed, when I woke up I fell out

Zulejha Jasharovska is a 16-year-old girl who survived the fatal bus accident on the Struma highway early Tuesday morning when 46 passengers were killed, including 12 children, returning from Istanbul to Skopje.

"I remember something, something not," she said from the hospital bed Pirogov Hospital in Sofia where after the accident he is being treated together with six other passengers who survived the accident.

12.16. Anisa's teacher from Studenichani: One bench in our classroom will remain empty forever

"Free Press" talks to one of Anisa's teachers. She described Anisa as a good and exemplary student, and through tears she spoke about her colleague Fikrije.

- Before leaving for Turkey, Anisa told me: "I will go to Turkey, wait for me to come". We had a birthday to celebrate. We waited for her, her friends waited for her, but she did not come. The black news came that he would no longer be among us. My colleague, now deceased, Fikrije, often said to me: "Anisa will look like you, she will become like you, she will dress like you, she will become a teacher.". Her classmates greeted me with their heads bowed, they heard about the news, and about Anisa, but they waited for me to tell them. One bench in our classroom will be empty forever, but we will keep Anisa in our hearts smiling, as she was, says for "Free Press", Anisa's teacher, Mimoza Mustafai, who teaches Albanian language and literature in this school.

The employees in the municipality of Studenicani also lost a colleague employed in the regional office of the Ministry of Justice, Hamdi Iseni together with his wife.

12.02. Passenger insurance: If only a driving error is found, the insurer will pay compensation to relatives

The President of the Association of Road Accident Victims - Vladimir Todorov in the studio of "Bulgaria in the morning" said that there are strictly prescribed procedures for the investigation of traffic accidents and they are related to making various expertises made by external experts.

"The prosecution appoints the experts. There are cases in which we have been waiting for expertise for two years. There is an extremely big problem with forensic doctors. There are two forensic doctors in Kyustendil, Pernik and Blagoevgrad. "I hope this case will be a priority, but it will take at least 6 months."

As for compensation, every bus that runs on our roads has either "civil liability" insurance or "green card" insurance. There is special travel insurance, with lower levels of compensation. "The borders in Bulgaria are at the level of 5 million euros. "In the Republic of Northern Macedonia it is around 600.000 euros - the levels are almost 10 times lower," Todorov said.

11.49. VIDEO | They slept in a caravan near the accident: We watched it burn, but we could not help from the strong fire

Witness for the gossip event on the highway "Struma" is among the first to call the number 112 and report the bus accident. He reveals details about the tragedy for BTV. Ilija Nikolov together with two other colleagues are working at a location 500 meters from the scene of the accident. He and a colleague worked on a landslide near the road and he is among the first to witness the accident. He says they were sleeping in a caravan near the place when they heard a loud sound as if a tire had burst, and then they saw a fire.

They immediately went to the bus, but could not get close and help because, he said, the fire spread very quickly and the high temperature of the flames did not allow them to get close.

11.15. VIDEO | Bochvarski: Only the investigation can show what are the shortcomings

Yesterday, during the day, I was in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, I was also at a Government session, where one of the points was this terrible accident that affected us all. I was in the Ministry together with the services to start with all those checks of the documentation and procedures for informing the Government and the public. I was in contact with the Minister of Transport of Bulgaria. He remained open if there is a need for me to be present in Sofia, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Blagoj Bochvarski, told the Morning Briefing.

- According to the usual information, last night we had a press conference where we presented the findings, but in any case the investigation is led by the Bulgarian prosecutors in coordination with the Macedonian ones and we are available to give all our findings that we have, says Bochvarski.

11.04. VIDEO | Husseini: If the vehicle did not have a transport permit, it should have been returned to Customs, but that is not the cause of the accident

The bus of the travel agency "Besa Trans", which caught fire yesterday and took 46 lives, did not have a license, ie was not registered for international passenger transport, but according to the director of the State Transport Inspectorate Rufat Husseini, is not the cause of the accident. He pointed out today at the morning briefing that in order to improve the quality of passenger transport, it is necessary to buy newer vehicles, which will be technically correct, and for the Ministry of Interior to take care of that, and for the technical inspection stations not to register defective vehicles.

- We do not know when the bus was purchased and when it was registered. We also do not know why he did not apply for a license. According to the Law on Road Transport, the Customs Administration at the border crossings has the authority and must return the carrier, if it does not have a license. If the bus really did not have a license at the Deve Bair border crossing, it should not have been allowed to leave the country. However, I think that this omission did not affect the accident. The competent authorities in Bulgaria cite the road conditions, the correctness of the vehicle and the human factor as the causes of the accident. No one mentioned the license statement. "It should still be there, we will check why it is not there, but that is not the deciding factor in this accident," Husseini said.

Carriers that organize international long-distance transport should have two or three drivers. Often the carriers themselves try to circumvent this rule.

10.52. VIDEO | Georgiev from "Capital": All roads in Bulgaria are dangerous according to the number of accidents with fatal consequences

There is great interest in Macedonia on how the investigation in Bulgaria is going and what are the reactions after the accident. That is why in the morning briefing we talked to the journalist Ognyan Georgiev from the Bulgarian "Capital".

- Bulgaria, like Macedonia, was shaken. This is the worst disaster in Bulgaria, but also in Europe in the last 10 years. Extremely tragic outcome. It happened in the middle of talks for forming a new government in Bulgaria, but it all stopped and this tragedy dominated yesterday, says Georgiev.

10.47. VIDEO | Relatives of the survivors: They tell us they are fine, but they do not allow us to see them

Ali Selmani, a relative of the four survivors, in a statement to the media asked the competent institutions to complete as soon as possible all the procedural work related to the bodies, as well as the transfer of the survivors to the Skopje clinics.

Selmani, a relative of the four survivors, said doctors had informed them that they were in good condition but had not allowed them to see them.

"We came to support the survivors, we have been here since yesterday, but they are not there… We have no insight, we can not see them. "Doctors tell us they are fine, they are in trauma, but we have not seen them yet."

10.34. VIDEO | Dr. Duma: Quasi-scientists are destructive, trained people need to communicate with the public

Dr. Alexei Duma, former director of Forensic Medicine, Deontology and Criminology, an institute that deals with expertise in this type of accident at Utrinski briefing explains the procedure of identification of victims and medical investigation of possible causes of the accident.

- Forensic medicine is a link between medical and legal sciences. We interpret the medical findings with the dictionary of the court so that it can apply and implement them in the court procedure. Deontology is the science of duty, moral norms, how a professional should behave, says Dr. Duma.

He says that the Institute will perform a classic identification procedure according to the norms of Interpol. Interpol has the entire directorate for this procedure which is strictly regulated and how the communication between the domicile country and the country where the accident took place takes place. According to the new legislation, the procedure is led by the Prosecutor's Office. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria acted correctly, allowing access of our experts to the scene of the accident. We made the same procedure possible when the Bulgarian tourists died in Ohrid. All information and conclusions are exchanged, explains Dr. Duma.

10.25. The session of the Bulgarian government began with a minute of silence

On the day of national mourning, the session of the transitional government of Bulgaria began with a minute of silence, BTV reports.

The Prime Minister of Bulgaria Stefan Janev said that this is the day when we remember the victims - nine Bulgarian citizens who died in the fire in the nursing home in the village of Rojak, Varna and the citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia who died in the bus accident on the Struma highway.

10.21. Stefkovski: Municipality of Gazi Baba will donate financial aid to the families of the victims in the bus accident

The Mayor of the Municipality of Gazi Baba Boban Stefkovski, today submitted a draft decision on granting financial assistance to the families of the victims of the traffic accident that occurred in Bulgaria.

According to the information from the municipality, the mayor submitted the request for holding a session to the Municipal Council.

10.10. VIDEO | Trpevski: It is a public secret that additional fuel tanks are being installed in the buses

In Macedonia, the inspection procedure begins with the appearance of a public prosecutor in the field. He conducts an on-site investigation and collects material evidence. A team of crime technicians from the Ministry of Interior is present. Traffic experts should also be involved, as the inspection team does not have knowledge of what material evidence is relevant to the investigation. The more material evidence is gathered on the spot, the easier the expertise is. Unfortunately in Macedonia it rarely happens like this. But in this situation I think that experts will be hired in Bulgaria, explains the procedures to the court expert with over 10 years of experience, Dejan Trpevski for the Morning Briefing.

10.05. Filipce and Piromanski this morning discussed the condition of the survivors in "Pirogov"

The Minister of Health Venko Filipce, this morning talked with Dr. Ivan Poromanski, director of the hospital "Pirogov" in Sofia, where the seven patients who survived the terrible accident that happened yesterday morning on the highway "Struma" on the stretch Sofia - Blagoevgrad are hospitalized.

All patients are stable and are under constant medical supervision, and they have been given psychological support, reads the statement from the Ministry of Health.

Two patients underwent surgery, one underwent leg surgery, and a minor underwent surgery on a girl whose knee underwent surgery, and they are feeling well. All seven patients will remain in hospital until Friday, after which a plan will be made for their transport to Skopje.

10.03. VIDEO | Sadiki: We try to be with the families of the dead for how much we can alleviate the pain

Today we will have an extraordinary session of the Council. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult case with a very large number of victims, and more of them from our municipality, Azem Sadiki, Mayor of the Municipality of Studenicani, told the Morning Briefing.

- We try to be by their families to alleviate their pain a little. We as a municipality try our best to share the pain with them. "Yesterday was even worse because there was a lack of information," he said.

09.59. Osmani from Sofia: We are working on identification and faster transfer of victims to Skopje

According to the information of the doctors, the injured in the bus accident are in good health. Some of the operations have been completed, and some will be completed today, he told MIA Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani in front of the Pirogov Hospital in Sofia.

Osmani said he was coming to the hospital to visit and communicate with the injured, as well as to facilitate communication with families and institutions in Bulgaria so that the process of identifying the victims could be speeded up.

Asked about the investigation, he said it was started by institutions in Bulgaria.

09.41. Dr. Argirova: Two operations performed, people are in stable condition

The head of the Clinic for Burns and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Maja Argirova says two minor surgeries have been performed on survivors and they are currently in stable condition. She said one of the injured was in deep psychological shock. Two more surgeries will be performed today, say the doctors from the "Pirogov" hospital.

One of the patients has severe burns on both hands, due to which surgery will have to be performed, and surgery on the right knee will have to be performed on a girl as well. A knee operation was performed on one of the injured yesterday, said Dr. Argirova.

09.40. VIDEO: The Jahi family lost eight children in a bus accident

The saddest part of journalistic work in reporting on such difficult events is conveying the life destinies of the victims. "Free Press" journalist Destan Jonuzi had that difficult task.

- Yesterday there was talk of a number of 20 dead from Studenichani, but the official number is 18, and four of the survivors are from this municipality, says Jonuzi.

One of the most tragic stories is with the Jahi family.

09.33. Macedonian experts have been waiting since yesterday to enter the hall and participate in the autopsy of the victims with their Bulgarian colleagues

The director of forensic medicine, Dr. Aleksandar Stankov with two other colleagues from yesterday is waiting to enter the hall where the autopsies of the burned passengers in the car accident in which 45 citizens died in Bulgaria yesterday are underway, "Free Press" has learned.

What is the problem due to which the Macedonian experts are not allowed access to the operating room is not known, but yesterday a diplomatic note was sent from Skopje.

Dr. Stankov in a statement for "Free Press" confirmed that since yesterday he is waiting for a written approval to be involved with the two colleagues from the country in performing autopsies and pointed out that Interpol rules require that when there is an international accident, experts from both countries participate.

09.23. Bulgarian experts doubt: The causes of the Struma highway accident will remain a secret

President of the Bulgarian Drivers' Association (BOS) Hristo Radkov said that yesterday he was near the Macedonian bus that burned and in which 46 people died and 7 survived the accident. According to him, the reasons for the serious accident will remain secret.

"I wanted to see indirectly what we can assume. At the moment we are just guessing, so it will stay until the end, because the bus burned down. If you ask how fast he drove, we can not say. "The tachograph is completely burnt, the bodies are very charred, which means that the driver, even if he had a heart attack - we can not find out, because an autopsy can not be performed," explained the road expert on the air of BulgariaOnAir.

09:12 h: Survivor of the bus accident managed to save six people, but not his son

One of the survivors in yesterday's accident is Orhan Aliti. He along with Serbian citizen Lulzim Sulejmani they broke the rear window and helped the other six people save their lives, writes BBC, transmits

Shortly after the fatal accident, Orhan called his wife, who lives in Belgium.

09.00. VIDEO: Morning briefing at the scene of the accident in Bulgaria

- When we arrived in front of the hospital there was a group of relatives of the dead and injured. Nobody gave any information to those people. They even called their friends from Bulgaria to help them communicate with the services. They did not know anything from the Macedonian embassy to tell them. The Bulgarian prosecutor, together with prosecutors Vilma Ruskovska and Ljubomir Jovevski, entered to visit them together and after leaving did not say anything they received as information from the conversation with the injured, because as they say they could disrupt the investigation, says journalist Kristina Atovska.

08:20: The Struma highway in the direction of Sofia was reopened to traffic this morning

The Struma highway in the direction of Sofia is reopened to traffic. Police patrols secure the scene of a serious bus accident, writes

This morning the cars are moving peacefully in the direction Dupnica-Sofia, but in the opposite direction the traffic remains closed.

07:25 h. Bulgarian experts analyze the accident: Were there oil pipes in the spare tires?

The fire broke out in front of the bus, and according to the police, there were oil pipes in the spare tires. The road was flooded with oil, Vasko Pirgov, secretary of the Pernik Regional Security Council, who was among the first to arrive at the scene, told BTV.

- The bus hit the front right tire in a sign that it flew 45 meters. The surface of the road was perfect, the bus could not slip. "There are no signs of braking," Pirgov told BTV.

07:43 h. Second day of mourning for the victims of the bus accident

The government announced yesterday three days of mourning throughout the country for the victims of the tragic car accident in Bulgaria.

——————————— 23.11.2021 -----------

23:37 h. First personal testimonies about the terrible accident, Lulzim and Medina told about the hell on the highway

The young couple who survived the tragedy in Bulgaria, 26-year-old Lulzim Sulejmani from Presevo and his fiancée, Medina Lutfi (25) from Sopot, Kumanovo, from the Sofia Clinical Hospital, told the hell they experienced on the highway, when the bus burned down. Trans "and 45 people lost their lives.

Sulejmani broke the window of the bus and managed to pull Medina and five other passengers out. The seven are the only survivors of the Struma highway disaster.

Lulzim and Medina tell how they were sitting in the penultimate seats on the bus, and how fortunately Lulzim was awake and aware at the time of the accident, watching the whole horrifying scene with his own eyes.

Sulejmani says that after the fire broke out in the bus, he managed to break the side window of the bus, thus extending his hand and pulling his fiancée, who could not walk, because her leg was broken.

-While the bus was going, it hit the sidewalk from the right side, the wheels of the bus burst and a fire started to break out and there was a lot of smoke. Then the bus moved 20 meters to the left and stopped alone. People started vomiting, screaming like in horror movies. I managed to escape because I took the hammer in the bus and broke the glass. "I took out my fiancée and five other people," Sulejmani told Klan TV.

Medina through tears tells about the horror she went through. Trying to save herself, she heard the cries of many children on the bus.

- I do not know, I was sleeping, and suddenly I heard the passengers crying and shouting. Ljuljzim broke the glass, and I do not know how I got out. When I saw that I had opened the glass behind my head, I jumped hard. Black smoke was like a bomb blast. We all slept, it was about two in the morning. "I heard children crying, there were a lot of children," she said.

Sulejmani, who is a Serbian citizen, was after the accident visited at the hospital by Serbian Ambassador to Bulgaria Zeljko Jovic.

21:14 The burnt bus with police escort removed from the highway

Under strong police security, the burning bus was removed from the Struma highway in Bulgaria tonight, TV21 reported.

A terrible accident on the highway near Pernik killed 45 people and injured seven. The bus of the company "Besa Trans" for unknown reasons, caught fire at around two o'clock in the morning, after which most of the passengers could not get out.

According to the authorities in Macedonia, the bus was not registered in the register of the Ministry of Transport. Minister Blagoj Bochvarski announced that the company will be deprived of its license for bus transport, and it will be subject to extraordinary inspection.

20:13 h. Blinken expressed his condolences to the citizens of Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today expressed his condolences to the citizens of Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria for the loss of lives of many people in the bus accident in Bulgaria and the fire in the home for the elderly and infirm in Bulgaria.

- The State Department and the American people express their deep condolences to the citizens of Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria for the tragic loss of life in today's bus accident and yesterday's fire in a home for the elderly and infirm. "Our hearts are with all the mourners, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery," Blinken wrote on Twitter.

The bus of the company "Besa Trans" with Macedonian license plates, which was returning from Istanbul, caught fire this morning at three o'clock in the morning on the highway Sofia-Blagoevgrad, near the village Bosnek. The crash killed 45 passengers, including 12 children, and injured seven.

A fire that broke out yesterday in a home for the elderly and infirm in the village of Royak in eastern Bulgaria has killed nine people, some of them suffocating from smoke, a senior Bulgarian Interior Ministry official said earlier.

20:00 h. Ganiu: Officially 16 victims of car accident in Bulgaria are from Cair, but the number is higher

The mayor of the municipality of Cair, Visar Ganiu, said that the number of victims of the traffic tragedy in Bulgaria from this municipality is officially 16, but that, according to him, there are more victims who lived in Cair, but have addresses in other municipalities.

- I was in contact with relatives who were affected by this tragedy. "I am here to show that the Municipality of Cair is open at any time and for any help," Ganiu told TV21.

19:43 h. VIDEO: Bochvarski confirmations - the bus was not registered, "Besa Trans" will have its license revoked

The Minister of Transport and Communications Blagoj Bochvarski confirmed that the bus that caught fire in the terrible accident in Bulgaria, which killed 45 people, was not reported to the Ministry of Transport and did not have a certificate from the license to perform the activity.

Bochvarski, at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, said that a procedure has been initiated to revoke the license of the company "Besa Trans" for bus transport.

"After receiving information from the Ministry of Interior about the burned vehicle, we concluded that it was not reported by the carrier in accordance with Article 11 paragraph 5 of the Law on Road Transport and therefore the vehicle is not in the electronic database of the Ministry of Transport and connections, "Bochvarski said.

"The Ministry issues a license for international passenger transport and a passenger certificate for international passenger transport. The driver must have an international passenger transport certificate. In the MLSP system, the specific carrier is registered with four vehicles that have transport licenses. The carrier can transport passengers after obtaining a license for the motor vehicle. After receiving the information from the Ministry of Interior about the burned vehicle, we concluded that it was not reported and therefore it is not in the database of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The carrier is obliged immediately, and in 15 days at the latest, all the changes in terms of fulfilling the conditions, it is registration or check-out of a vehicle or driver ", said Bochvarski, adding that the company will perform an extraordinary inspection.

Spasovski said that the reports of the Bulgarian investigating authorities should be waited to talk about the causes of the accident, as well as the age and places of the victims.

18:29 h. Radev: Bulgaria is doing everything possible to find out the reasons for the tragedy on the Struma highway

"I express my sincere condolences to the relatives of those killed in the accident on the highway" Struma "and in the home for the elderly in the village of Royak in northeastern Bulgaria. said the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev.

- We are together with our brothers from the Republic of Northern Macedonia, together we mourn with them for the tragedy. The Bulgarian state is doing everything necessary to treat the injured and find out the reasons for those two serious incidents, said Bulgarian President Radev.

He expressed hope that the injured in the accident would recover as soon as possible. According to Radev, there are many actions to identify the dead, after their transfer.

18:00 h. Bulgarian journalist: There is information that there was no second driver on the bus

According to initial information obtained by some of the Bulgarian media, there was fuel in the bus bought from Turkey, where it is cheaper than in Macedonia and Bulgaria. That fuel ignited and is one of the reasons for the accident, says the Bulgarian journalist Patricia Kirova in a statement for TV 21, about today's tragic bus accident, in which 45 people died.

According to her, there are no signs of braking, which means the driver lost control of the vehicle.

- There is information that there was no second driver on the bus. For such a road from Istanbul to Macedonia there should be another driver. If one is tired to rest, the other should change, says Kirova.

Although there were media reports that the place where the accident took place was a "black spot", the journalist Patricia denies it and says that it is a modern new highway. The bus entered Bulgaria from Turkey at 21 pm, and the accident happened around two o'clock in the morning on the highway "Struma" in the direction Sofia-Blagoevgrad.

17:37 h. The Besa Trans bus is not in the records of the Ministry of Transport?

The Besa Trans bus, which killed 45 people on the highway in Bulgaria, was not reported to the competent institutions in the country, Deutsche Welle reported, citing its own sources.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is still analyzing the documentation of the carrier "Besa Trans", its buses and the registered professional drivers. The data so far show that the burnt bus was not reported at all by the owner and does not appear in the system of the Ministry. The owner of the agency did not obtain a license for that vehicle, and the bus is not in the database of the Ministry at all.

It is still being checked whether the two drivers who were driving in the bus had a certificate and whether they were reported by the owner of the agency, writes "Deutsche Welle".

16.57. "Besa Trans" expressed condolences to the families of the victims

The company "Besa Trans - Skopje" through Facebook expressed its condolences to the families of those killed in the terrible accident of the Macedonian bus in Bulgaria.

"Today is a very sad and difficult day for us as a company, we express our condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased, we pray for the speedy recovery of the survivors. The company fully cooperates with the competent institutions with the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria in order to determine the reasons for this terrible tragedy! We apologize to all of us for not being able to respond to the requested information because we are in a state of shock. With respect. For any information regarding the case, call 075273732 ", the company points out.

Besa Trans
The headquarters of "Besa Trans" / Photo Free Press / Dragan Mitreski

15.53. The tachograph that records the movement of the bus is completely burned, the other recordings are reviewed, the driver did not drive fast

The bus is so destroyed that the data from the technical device that records the movement of the bus - the tachograph can not be determined. Everything is burned. This was stated by the Executive Director of the Executive Agency "Auto Management" Bojko Ranovski regarding the incident in which 45 people died after a passenger bus with Macedonian registration on the Struma highway caught fire.

Seven people were injured and taken to hospital. The bus was traveling from Turkey to Northern Macedonia.

Otherwise, the tachograph is a measuring instrument that serves to automatically record the speed and travel time of the vehicle, as well as the type and duration of the driver's activity.

15.50. Relatives of those killed in the bus accident will be able to enter Bulgaria without a Covid-19 document

All close relatives of the victims of the serious traffic accident will be allowed to enter the Republic of Bulgaria, regardless of whether they have a document related to the measures for protection against the covid-19 pandemic.

15:46: "Free Press" by Sofia | Joveski and Ruskoska talked to the survivors: "Everything happened in a split second"

The team of "Free Press" from Sofia finds out that at the moment almost half of the bodies of the dead have been removed, and the rest will be removed during the day. Public prosecutors Joveski and Ruskoska have currently left the hospital in Sofia, and told the media that they have talked to the survivors who have minor injuries.

"We talked to them. We will not give much information, because an investigation is underway. "They told us that everything happened in a split second," Joveski told Sloboden Pecat.

The families of those killed in Sofia
Families of those killed in Sofia / Photo Free Press / Kristina Atovska

15.30. This year, four criminal charges were filed against "Besa Trans" for non-compliance with the protocols

The State Transport Inspectorate has filed four criminal charges this year against the carrier "Besa Trans", whose bus had a car accident in Bulgaria last night in which 46 people died, for confirming the Covid-19 protocols for public passenger transport, confirmed to MIA Rufat Husseini.

15.19. The Serbian citizen and his fiancée survived the accident

"The only citizen of Serbia who was on the bus that burned down in Bulgaria is Lulzim Sulejmani from Presevo and he is among the seven surviving passengers. "Like his fiancée from Kumanovo, with whom he went on a trip to Istanbul," Zaev told the Serbian Courier.

Serbian citizen and his fiancée
He and his fiancée from Kumanovo, who was also on the bus and who, fortunately, also survived. They are currently in hospital in Sofia / Photo: Private archive

15.12. The names of the survivors of the bus tragedy in Bulgaria have been published

These people are hospitalized in Bulgaria and are out of danger.

15.06. The owner of "Besa Trans" announced, he does not know how the bus accident happened

- I do not know how the accident happened. I have been at the scene of the accident since 3 am this morning to receive information from the Bulgarian institutions, but the reasons are still unknown, the owner of "Besa Trans" told TV 21.

14.52. Bulgarian expert: It remains a mystery why the bus doors are not open, the impact on the fence caused a fire

Technical malfunction or human error? These two versions are in circulation with the Bulgarian authorities as the cause of the tragedy with the bus on the Struma highway in which 46 people died early this morning.

"I think it's about both things. The bus first hit the right guardrail and then went to the left. Much of the protective fence separating the two lanes is missing - perhaps 100 meters. The bus doors are not open. "Either the driver does not react to us opening, or we are talking about damage that did not allow them to open. It remains a mystery why the bus doors are not open. "It is important to look for the bus manufacturer," Dimitar Dimitrov told Bulgaria ONAir. Aviation Chamber of Road Carriers.

He expressed suspicion that the impact on the protective fence caused the fire.

Dimitar Dimitrov Bulgarian expert / Photo / Screenshot /

14:49 h. "Free Press" from Sofia: The bodies of the dead have not yet reached the autopsy

The Free Press team, which is currently still in Sofia, told a hospital spokeswoman that the bodies of the dead had not yet been fully sent for autopsy. In front of the hospital there are members of the families of the victims, who are seeking answers from the public prosecutors Ljubomir Joveski and Vilma Ruskoska.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told Sloboden Pecat that no survivors were injured. She added that they will not provide information about the victims until tomorrow.

The burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria
The burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria / Photo EPA-EFE / VASSIL DONEV

14.42. VIDEO: Videos of passengers boarding the Besa Trans bus have appeared

The Turkish portal published videos from the security cameras of the hotel in Istanbul where the Macedonian passengers were staying, who were on a trip organized by the travel agency "Besa Trans".

The footage shows passengers leaving the hotel and boarding buses.

14.33. Joveski: The bodies of the burned passengers are still being pulled out of the bus

The Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Northern Macedonia Ljubomir Joveski and the Basic Public Prosecutor of the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office for Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption Vilma Ruskoska came to visit the survivors of the terrible bus accident. They informed the hospital in a statement to the media that the investigation is ongoing and that at this moment they can not say anything.

- The bus hit the sidewalk, that is the initial information we have. We do not know anything else, the inspection of the Bulgarian colleagues on the spot is ongoing. The investigation is ongoing, we have excellent cooperation with our Bulgarian colleagues. At this moment we can not say anything, said Joveski.

Photo: Screenshot

14:16. Sadness and pain in Studenichani: At least 20 of the victims are from this municipality, a teacher, a registrar… died…

In the Municipality of Studenicani, immense sorrow and pain for their fellow citizens who died in the terrible bus accident on the highway Struma in Bulgaria. Among the 46 victims in the fire that affected the bus, at least 20, and maybe more are from the territory of this municipality. The team of "Free Press" visited the place and talked with the secretary of the municipality of Studenicani Burhanedin Nuhiu.

13.32. MFA: All embassies and missions abroad lowered their flags to half-mast

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that all embassies and missions of the country abroad have lowered the flags to half-mast for the duration of the days of mourning.

- According to the Government Decision on three days of mourning in honor of the victims of the tragic car accident in the Republic of Bulgaria, in which many of our citizens lost their lives, all embassies and missions abroad lowered the flags to half-mast for the days of mourning. writes on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Photo: MIA

13:31: The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry will provide full assistance to the Macedonian authorities in connection with the accident

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, within its competences, provides all the necessary assistance to the Republic of Northern Macedonia in connection with the accident on the highway "Struma", said the Press Center of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This was stated by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani and Health Minister Venko Filipce, MIA reports from Sofia.

13.29. Ruskoska: I talked to the owner of "Besa Trans", we will provide all the documentation for the buses

Prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska said in a statement to the media today that the owner of the transport company was at the scene of the accident, with whom she had a short conversation.

- He said that they have had a transport company for 20 years, so far they have not had any incidents. But as colleagues have already said, we will provide all the documentation for all buses - when they are registered and when they were for technical inspection. "They will also be handed over to their Bulgarian counterparts," Ruskoska said.

She adds that as prosecutors they rely more on documents than on anyone.

13.07. BNT at the address of "Besa Trans" in Kyustendil: The company has no bus transport

Stanislava Hristova, BNT journalist, today went to the address in Kyustendil, which some media pointed out as the address where Bulgaria registered "Besa Trans" from Macedonia, in whose bus this morning on the highway "Struma" 46 passengers died.

She found an elderly sick woman at the address. and the owner of the apartment at that address says that there is a match between the names of the companies, but that the company registered there has nothing to do with bus transport.

13.00. Condolences from EU leaders on the bus accident that claimed 46 lives

The presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have expressed their condolences over the bus crash that claimed 46 lives in Bulgaria.

12:53 h. Bekim Haliti is waiting for news about his wife and sister: We do not know who is alive, who is not, they did not tell us anything

12:45. Prosecution: The investigation has begun, DNA material is being collected to identify the victims

Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Jovevski and Prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska arrived at the scene of the accident on the "Struma" highway this morning.

Together with our colleagues from Northern Macedonia, we determined the sequence of actions that should be taken to clear up this case. From the Macedonian side we need to get documents on the technical condition of the bus, the company owner and the passengers, as the key moment is the biological material for identification of the victims. The list has already been sent and the colleagues in Macedonia have already started the procedure, said the Bulgarian prosecutor.

12.40. The government declared three days of mourning

Due to the severe traffic accident of a Macedonian bus in Bulgaria in which 46 passengers died, the Government declared three days of mourning.

The Government informs that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been declared days of mourning. The government is currently holding a session, chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Artan Grubi.

A terrible car accident that happened this morning in Bulgaria killed 46 passengers on the Besa Trans bus returning from Istanbul.

12.29. One of the dead celebrated his birthday with his fiancée in Istanbul, he was part of the office of the mayor of Kicevo

Gazmend Ukali (27) from Kicevo and his fiancée Albina Belluli (23) from Tetovo are among the people who lost their lives in the bus accident in Bulgaria this morning.

Ukali and his fiancée were to celebrate their birthday in Istanbul on Friday, but their lives ended tragically last night in a horrific fire on the Besa Trans bus.

Gazmend Ukali and Albina Belluli
Gazmend Ukali from Kicevo and his fiancée Albina Belluli from Tetovo who died in the bus accident / Photo Screenshot Instagram

He was part of the cabinet of the mayor of Kicevo, Fatmir Dehari.

The information about Gazmend's death was confirmed to "Free Press" by Mayor Dehari.

12.21. VIDEO: The owner of "Besa Trans" remained inaccessible to the public and the relatives of the victims

Since early this morning, the police have been securing the travel agency "Besa Trans", which organized the trip to Turkey, in which 46 people tragically lost their lives. Relatives of the passengers who went on a trip to Istanbul were waiting for information whether their loved ones were among those killed in the terrible car accident. There was no one to share this information with the disturbed citizens, as the owner of the agency remained unavailable for their calls, as well as unavailable to the media.

They found out about the accident on social networks, after which they started looking for relatives on the phone. After failing to get them on the phone, they started calling the travel agency, but failed to get in touch with anyone from Besa Trans.

A relative of one of the passengers who traveled with the Besa Trans agency to Turkey, through the media begged for information from the agency or the institutions whether his cousin is among the survivors and in what condition. He says they tried to contact the agency for three or four hours, but received no information.

12.11. PHOTO | The four-year-old twins are the youngest victims of a horrific bus crash in Bulgaria

The twins Luan and Alban Ahmeti are the youngest victims of the terrible bus accident that happened this morning on the highway "Struma" in Bulgaria, when a bus of "Besa Trans" returning from Istanbul to Skopje caught fire. The oldest passenger was 63 years old, and most of the passengers were born between 1971 and 2004, BGNES reported.

The accident killed 46 people, and seven were injured and taken to hospital and have no serious injuries.

Photos of the twins during their weekend stay in Istanbul with their parents were posted on social media.

Photo: Facebook, EPA

11.29 h: "Great tragedy": The world media described the tragic event

The world's largest media this morning reported the sad news of the burning Macedonian bus in Bulgaria. The accident killed 46 people, including 12 children.

British BBC conveyed the statements of the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the Minister of Interior Bujar Osmani, as well as the statement of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Stefan Janev.

"We hope to learn lessons from this tragic incident and be able to prevent such incidents in the future," Janev told reporters at the scene.

The American media house CNN announced that the competent Bulgarian teams will conduct additional investigations into the potential causes of the accident.

They confirmed that there were 52 passengers on the bus.

The German DPA shared the information about the dead in the bus on his Twitter account.

11.27 h: "My whole family burned down" - A member of the Jahi family with a moving statement for "Free Press"

"My whole family burned down," said a member of the Jahi family from Skopje-North who lost 10 members in the tragedy in Bulgaria together with members of the Muhaxheri family with whom they are related.

The family said that their relatives went on a tourist trip to Istanbul, and as they say they went on a "trip never to return".

"Free Press" finds out that a mother teacher Fikrije Iseni (1982) in the primary school in Studenicani, Skopje together with her daughter (Anisa) who is a minor died in the accident. Two others died from this settlement.

Classes at the Ismail Qemali Primary School in Cair have been suspended because six of the children who died in the tragedy in Bulgaria are from that school. As "Free Press" has learned from field sources, the students are upset, crying and it is impossible for the classes to take place.

11.06. Drone footage analyzed: Bulgarian expert points out possible causes of the accident

Diana Rusinova from the European Center for Transport Policy of Bulgaria analyzed drone footage on the road section of the Struma highway, where the big accident with the Macedonian bus happenedwrites BTV.

According to her, it is mandatory to determine the condition of the road signs in that section, as well as a few kilometers back, to see if they confused the driver and led to difficulties in following the road.

It is quite possible that the sign for the island was missing or the driver did not see it, or he fell asleep, the expert said.

According to her, the drone footage clearly shows how he tried to stabilize the bus after losing control, but then crashed into the protective fence.

10.46. Alsat published a list of passengers transported by the burned bus in Bulgaria

Alsat Television published the list of passengers who were transported by the bus that burned down on a highway in Bulgaria early this morning, around 2.00 am.

10.31. PHOTO + VIDEO: Neither the passengers nor the owners of the Besa agency are available for the relatives

In front of the headquarters of the travel agency "Besa", the organizer of the trip during which a severe traffic accident occurred in which their bus burned and 46 passengers were killed, there are no employees nor the owner has arrived, and Free Press and Morning Briefing reporters try by phone to contact them.

Meanwhile, relatives of the passengers gather in front of the agency's headquarters.

10.22. Medicine, not politics: Injured people from Macedonia are treated the same as Bulgarian citizens

All consultations have been made, the injuries have been treated, some surgeries may be needed. Everything has been taken for the injured citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, just as it would have been taken for the Bulgarian citizens. I can only talk to you about medicine, not politics. A health care agreement has been signed between the two countries, said a doctor from a hospital in Bulgaria.

10.12. Janev: Bulgaria has taken all necessary actions to investigate the terrible car accident

The Bulgarian state reacted as soon as possible and took all necessary actions to investigate this terrible car accident, in which 45 people died. At the same time, necessary care is being taken for the survivors, said the interim Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Stefan Janev, in a post on the official Facebook page of the Bulgarian Government.

As BTA reports, Janev expresses his condolences to the relatives of those killed in the accident on the Struma highway, which happened tonight.

10.09. What are the causes of the terrible accident? There are two scenarios in play, comment insiders

Two experienced professional drivers with decades behind the wheel were in charge the trip from Istanbul to Skopje which ended disastrously, one of which used to have its own transport agency, Euroline.

As "Free Press" has learned from drivers who were on the same tour in Istanbul, the operator "Besa Trans" regularly, every weekend, drove the same tourist tour with optional tours and sightseeing, and the drivers were instructed to change every 8 hours. for mandatory leave.

Bulgarian investigating authorities will have to answer questions about how the accident happened. However, the speculation is that a tire burst, after which the bus lost its balance and although it did not crash on the road, it still rubbed against the protective sidewalk 50 meters from which the fire started. The second possible reason is that the driver fell asleep. There is no official confirmation for any reason.

Seven survivors are in hospital in Bulgaria. One of them said that the passengers were asleep, after which an explosion was heard in the back of the bus, so the seven passengers broke the windows and managed to escape the deadly flames.

10.02. Zaev and Janev: The pain is great for both nations, we are together for better or for worse

Coordination has been established at all levels with the Republic of Northern Macedonia and we hope that from the investigation we will learn those lessons that will protect us from similar tragedies in the future. This was said by the Prime Minister Stefan Janev in a joint statement with the Prime Minister of RSM Zoran Zaev who is in Bulgaria regarding the bus accident in which 46 people died.

Zoran Zaev Stefan Janev
Press conference of Prime Ministers Zoran Zaev and Stefan Janev / Photo: BGNES

- Today is marked by two tragedies for the Bulgarian people - in the Varna village of Royak, Bulgarian citizens died in the Home for the Elderly, for which an investigation is currently underway. Less than 7-8 hours later, a new tragedy occurred - a collision with a passenger bus registered in RSM, with citizens, both from RSM and other nationalities. "Tragedies are common and are what touches us, what makes us sympathetic, regardless of the nationality of the people who are no longer among us," said Janev.

10.00. Albanian Foreign Minister: All the victims in the accident are Albanians from Northern Macedonia

Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Dzacka said the victims in today's accident in Bulgaria, which killed 46 people, were Albanians from northern Macedonia.

He wrote that on his Facebook profile, expressing condolences to the families of the victims and added that Albania and Northern Macedonia are "close in these difficult moments".

09.55 hours. 24 hours: BCP Mavrovo was building the section from Struma, it is of poor quality and unsafe for traffic

The Macedonian company GP Mavrovo built the section from Struma where the bus with Macedonian license plates caught fire and killed 46 people, claims "24 Hours".

"It became clear 15 years ago that this section is of very poor quality. Poor substrate and soft protective fences. The reflectors on them, the so-called cat eyes, do not reflect the light of the headlights and are difficult to orient, especially at the corners. "The curves have the opposite slope and collect water."

There are always puddles of rain and there is a danger of aquaplaning. That is why this "highway" is not certified as such. The speed limit on it is 120 km / h, writes the portal.

09.52. Bulgarian expert: It is surprising that we do not have a picture of the situation from 2 to 8 o'clock in the morning, there are no witnesses, where are the Bulgarian police officers

The President of the Union of Drivers for Auto-Moto Training Jonko Ivanov in the studio of "Bulgaria in the morning" commented on the huge tragedy on the Struma highway, in which in accident at least 46 people were killed.

He explained that this is a series of many turns with descents and ascents, it is not a highway, it is a side road - the maximum speed is 120 km / h.

"On these steep slopes, the car's engine brake is tight, it is the driver's responsibility. We do not see a stopping distance here. "Low guardrails should not exist on such risky sections of the road," he told Bulgaria ON AIR.

09.43. Zaev: The passengers are from Northern Macedonia, one is from Presevo and one with Belgian citizenship

"We will wait for the professional services to say the reasons for the accident." The victims are not only from Skopje, but from many places. They are all citizens of Northern Macedonia, they are of many nationalities, but there is also a citizen from Presevo, Serbia, who together with his fiancée from Kumanovo was in Istanbul for a walk. "We also saw in the list that there is one person with Belgian citizenship." said the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev who today, together with the Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs, Venko Filipce and Bujar Osmani, visited the seven hospitalized in the Pirogov Hospital in Sofia.

Answering journalists' questions, Zaev said that he still did not know the details, although he had information that the seven survivors, when the accident occurred, managed to break the window in the back seats.

09.40. The company "Besa Trans" was registered in Kyustendil, had offices in Skopje and other cities

The travel agency "Besa Trans" has been operating since 2011, and since 2019 its manager is Azdren Zuberi, a Macedonian citizen of Albanian origin. The company is headquartered in Kyustendil, but also has several offices in Skopje and other cities in Northern Macedonia.

- I can not give you information. I do not know anything, the company told "24 Hours".

09.28. VIDEO | Close to the victims of the accident in Bulgaria gathered in front of the headquarters of "Besa Trans" in Skopje

A group of citizens - relatives and friends of the victims in the bus accident of the company "Besa Trans", gathered this morning in front of the headquarters of the company in Skopje, taking interest in their loved ones.

The headquarters of "Besa Trans", whose bus returning from Istanbul had an accident in Bulgaria today, killing over 45 citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, has been secured by police officers since this morning.

The usual information from the competent authorities says that four buses from this Skopje company traveled to Turkey at the weekend.

09.23. VIDEO | Besa Trans buses for a walk in Istanbul

The Skopje-based Besa Trans travel agency, which owns a bus that killed at least 46 passengers and injured seven on its way back from Bulgaria, has organized tourist tours to Istanbul twice a week.

In arrangements, with two and three nights. at a cost of 79 and 99 euros included visits to historical sites and religious sites in Istanbul.

For the time being, no one answers the phone numbers of the agency, and promotional videos from their travels can be seen on its Facebook page.

09.03. LIVE | Zaev, Filipce and Osmani with statements from the hospital in Sofia

Statements by the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs Venko Filipce and Bujar Osmani from the Pirogov Hospital in Sofia where the survivors of the bus accident that happened last night on the Struma highway in Bulgaria are hospitalized.

08.38. VIDEO | Osmani: The bus is owned by a Skopje agency, tourists were returning from the extended weekend

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, arrived at the Pirogov Hospital in Sofia to see the survivors of the bus accident on the Struma Highway in Bulgaria.

He said that the travel agency is from Skopje, and according to unconfirmed information, there are more than 10 children among the dead in the accident. The victims, as Osmani said, are also young couples who took advantage of the extended weekend, having in mind that yesterday was a holiday - Day of the Albanian Alphabet.

08.35. VIDEO | Zaev for Utrinski briefing: One of the survivors told me that they heard a loud explosion while sleeping

Condolences to all citizens. I am in front of the hospital in Sofia. We want to see our fellow citizens who managed to escape. I got in touch with one of the people, who explained to us that they heard a big explosion while sleeping. "Several people managed to break the windows and save themselves," said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at a morning briefing.

08.05 h: Pernik Mayor: There are frequent accidents on this section, this route is one of the most difficult in Bulgaria

The bus broke about 50 meters from the protective fence, Pernik Mayor Stanislav Vladimirov told reporters near the crash site, which killed 46 people.

According to the MIA correspondent from Sofia, according to Vladimirov, the section is wet. The causes of the accident can be many.

- The road is wet. This part has a very big downhill. It has been raining lightly since yesterday. It can not be said whether the reason is the bad weather, but the reasons can be many, said Vladimirov.

08.00. Zaev for MIA: Terrible tragedy, most of them are young people who probably returned from an excursionThe Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who together with the Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs, left for Sofia where a serious traffic accident took place last night in which at least 45 people died, said in a statement to MIA that he talked to one of the survivors who informed him that strong explosion.

- I am in contact with the Prime Minister Stefan Janev who has already visited the people. I had the opportunity to talk to one of the survivors. He explained that they were sleeping on the bus when a loud explosion was heard. They managed to break one of the windows and save several people. Unfortunately, the others failed. It is a terrible tragedy because most of them are children - 12 children are under 18 years old, and the others are young people around 20-30 years old. Most of them are our citizens, but there are also from Serbia, Zaev told MIA.

07.50 h: The bus in which 45 passengers died was on Besa Trans

The passenger bus that caught fire in Bulgaria last night and where 45 passengers were killed, including children, he was on the Tetovo carrier Besa Trans, "Free Press" has learned from its sources.

It was an excursion on the route Skopje - Istanbul - Skopje, and on the way back the bus transited through Bulgaria.

A dozen buses from Macedonia were sent to the same tour, but nine returned safely to the country.

07.30 h: Zaev: Both Bulgarians and Macedonians will want to know what happened

I do not know if they are Macedonian citizens, but we assume that they are Macedonians. I informed the Macedonian services to prepare the teams and to arrive on the spot. This was stated by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev for BNT.

- It is tragic that there are children among the victims. We are very grateful to the Bulgarian authorities if they discover the causes of the accident and share them with Sevena Macedonia. Surely the citizens of Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria will want to know what happened. I know that this is a big fire and that many people died because of it, but whether it broke out during the accident or then the experts will say. Our pain is great and we sympathize with the families of the victims, added Zaev, and reports

07.13 h: Technical malfunction of the bus or driver error, possible causes of the accident

A driver error or a sudden technical malfunction of the bus are possible reasons for the accident, which killed at least 46 people and injured seven, said the director of the Bulgarian National Investigation Service, Borislav Sarafov.

07.04 h: VIDEO: Seventeen-year-old girl and six adults are hospitalized in Sofia, their condition is stable

The Chief Commissioner for Fire Safety and Protection of the Population in the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior Nikolay Nikolov told Nova TV that the condition of the survivors in The traffic accident on the highway "Struma" is stable. They are being treated at Pirogov Hospital in Sofia.

06. 47 h: The director of the Bulgarian police confirmed: 12 children were killed, including two twins

According to initial information, 52 passengers and the driver were traveling in the bus with Macedonian registration, the director of the National Police of Bulgaria Stanimir Stanev told BTV.

06.34h: TERRIBLE NEWS: Macedonian bus catches fire in Bulgaria, at least 45 dead and seven injured
At least 45 people died in a car accident on the "Struma" highway in Bulgaria, when a bus with Macedonian license plates traveling from Istanbul to Skopje caught fire.

According to initial information, there are survivors in the accident.

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