Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Forty-five people — including at least 12 children — were killed in a fire that destroyed a bus en route to a northern Bulgarian resort on Saturday, authorities said.
Firemen extinguished the blaze at around 6 a.m. local time at the scene of the accident — located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the capital Sofia, according to authorities.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident, Bulgarian media reported.
Nine of the victims were listed as minors, and almost half of the people on board the bus were from Montenegro. Twenty-four other people were injured, several with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Police evacuated the wounded to a sports field in an attempt to save them, some of them suffering injuries from children’s toys and metal scraps that were part of the aftermath of the crash.
“Our police forces are doing everything to save these people, ” Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Georgi Parvanov said in comments published by Bulgarian media outlets.
Police have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. The bus carrying the passengers, which was heading for the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Burgas, was traveling between Ivunas and Ksanderini.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the crash.