A tourist bus from North Macedonia crashed and caught fire in Bulgaria early Tuesday, killing at least 45 passengers, including a dozen children, according to officials.

At around 2 a.m. local time, an accident happened on the Struma highway near the village of Bosnek in western Bulgaria. According to a statement from the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, emergency crews rushed to the scene, where 45 individuals were declared deceased.

According to the ministry, seven persons were injured in the incident and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

According to Monika Markovska, an officer at the North Macedonian Embassy in Sofia, the bus carrying 53 people was returning to Skopje, North Macedonia’s capital, following a tourist excursion to Istanbul, Turkey. The bus was registered in North Macedonia, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior.

With the exception of one Belgian national, the majority of those on board were Macedonians. Markovska told ABC News that 12 children were among the fatalities.

The seven victims who were taken to the hospital were admitted to Sofia’s Pirogov Hospital.

The victims, who were four men and three women, had burns and lacerations but were in stable condition, according to Dr. Ljubo Topkov of Pirogov Hospital.

The reason of the accident is unknown and is being investigated.

As first responders and investigators worked on the incident, traffic was stopped in both directions on the highway.

Besa Trans, the Macedonian transport business that owns the bus, did not reply to a request for comment from ABC News on Tuesday.

The Shining Media

The Shining Media is an independent news website and channel, covering updates from the world of Politics, Entertainment, Sports, International, National, and a lot more.

By The Shining Media

The Shining Media is an independent news website and channel, covering updates from the world of Politics, Entertainment, Sports, International, National, and a lot more.

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