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Human error likely caused Bulgaria's deadly bus crash, say investigators

The burned out wreckage of the bus stored in a investigation service warehouse in the town of Pernik.
The burned out wreckage of the bus stored in a investigation service warehouse in the town of Pernik. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AFP
Published on Updated
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Officials say they have recovered the bodies of 45 victims from the scene.


Investigators say the deadly bus crash in Bulgaria was most likely caused by "human error".

At least 45 people were killed when the vehicle caught fire after hitting a guardrail on a wet motorway near Sofia on Tuesday. It is considered to be one of the deadliest such accidents in Europe in a decade.

Most of the victims were tourists from North Macedonia, travelling home in a convoy of buses from Turkey.

Authorities said on Thursday that "44 bodies" had been recovered from the scene before a 45th victim was identified on Friday.

"We found the remains of a body today during new searches", deputy prosecutor general Borislav Sarafov told AFP.

Deputy Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov said on Thursday that investigators believe the accident could have been aggravated by traffic.

"The most likely hypothesis is that of human error," Sarafov told reporters, adding that authorities are not ruling out that "bad signalling" could have misled the driver.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor has also called for a nationwide inspection of road markings and road signals on motorways and major roads.

Passengers were trapped inside the vehicle after it caught fire and died "mainly of suffocation", Sarafov added on Thursday.

Those who survived after escaping through a broken window were all hospitalised in Sofia and are all reported to be in a stable condition.

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