The bus with 53 people on board and Macedonian license plates crashed and caught fire while covering the route between Istanbul (Turkey) and the Norwegian capital of Skopje.
"It is a tragedy. We don't know if all the victims are originally from North Macedonia, but that's what we assume because the bus was registered in this country," said North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
North Macedonian Health Minister Venko Felipce visited the injured and said they are all in good condition and there is no fear for their lives. "There is only one patient with a fracture," he indicated.
BREAKING: A bus crash in western Bulgaria has killed at least 45 people, authorities say. Children were among the victims on the bus, which was registered in Northern Macedonia. https://t.co/HvmKBIcA6K
The head of the Bulgarian National Police, Stanimir Stanev, noted that most of the passengers were trapped in the vehicle: "The driver died on the spot, so there was no one who could open the doors."
The authorities are investigating the causes of the accident and are considering two possible theories: human error or a technical failure in the bus, according to bTV. Also, one of the injured stated to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev that he heard the sound of a loud explosion, but this has not yet been verified.
For her part, Bulgarian MP Desislava Atanasova ruled out that the cause of the accident was the state of the pavement on the road and called for a transparent investigation.