Bus crash on highway in Croatia kills at least 12 people

ZAGREB: A Polish-registered bus carrying pilgrims to a temple in Bosnia has slipped from a highway to the north Croatia early Saturday, killing at least 12 people and injuring several others, police and officials said. Croatian police said on Twitter that “in the skid of a bus bearing Polish number plates, according to initial information from the scene, 11 people died and several were injured”.
Officials said a passenger later died in hospital and the bus was carrying 43 people.
Croatia’s state broadcaster HRT reported that about 30 people were injured, many seriously. It said the most likely cause of the crash was the driver falling asleep.
The television station showed video of a blue bus being smashed in a ditch next to the highway. The bus was going in the direction of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said the bus was taking pilgrims to the Catholic temple in Medjugorje, a town in southern Bosnia. The temple is the third most popular pilgrimage destination in Europe after Lourdes and Fatima, although the Vatican has not verified any of the reported miracles that eyewitnesses claim to have seen there.
“This morning I talked about the details of the tragedy with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who ensured the full support of Croatian health services,” Morawiecki said on Facebook.
“I have asked our consular services to organize a support organization for the families of those involved in the accident.”
Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinic said the bus was coming from “a place near Warsaw” and that “according to some information,” it was carrying pilgrims to Medjugorje.
The crash happened at 5:40 a.m. local time (3:40 a.m. GMT) about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Zagreb, on the A-4 motorway, which is crowded during peak tourist season .
Rescue teams were dispatched to the accident site. Croatian media reported that an investigation into the accident was ongoing.

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