Bus crash on Croatia highway kills at least 12 people

ZAGREB: A Poland-registered bus carrying pilgrims to a sanctuary in Bosnia skidded off a highway in northern Croatia early Saturday, killing at least 12 people and injuring several others, police and officials said. Croatian police said on Twitter that “11 people were killed and several injured in the skidding of a bus with Polish number plates, according to the first information from the field”.
Officials said another passenger later died in a hospital and the bus was carrying 43 people.
Croatia’s state HRT television reported that about 30 people were injured, many of them seriously. The most likely cause of the accident was that the driver had fallen asleep.
The broadcaster showed video of a wrecked blue bus in a ditch next to the highway. The bus was heading for Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieckic said the bus was taking pilgrims to the Catholic shrine in Medjugorje, a town in southern Bosnia. The sanctuary is the third most popular pilgrimage destination in Europe after Lourdes and Fatima, although the Vatican has not verified any of the reported miracles witnesses claimed to have seen there.
“This morning I discussed the details of the tragedy with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who assured the full support of Croatian medical services,” Morawiecki said on Facebook.
“I recommended our consular services to organize a support organization for the families of the participants in the accident.”
Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinic said the bus came from “a place near Warsaw” and that “according to certain information” it was transporting pilgrims to Medjugorje.
The accident happened at 5:40 am local time (3:40 am GMT), about 50 kilometers (30 mi) north of Zagreb, on the A-4 highway, which is busy during the height of the tourist season.
Rescue teams were dispatched to the scene of the accident. An investigation into the accident is underway, Croatian media report.

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