Croatia: At least 12 dead in horror bus crash involving Polish pilgrims


The bus exited the highway at high speed en route to a Catholic shrine in Bosnia (Image: EPA/AP)

At least 12 people have died after a bus carrying pilgrims ran off the road in northern Croatia.

It is believed that the tragedy may have happened after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The vehicle involved had Polish number plates and was carrying 43 people when it went off the road.

Several other people are said to have been seriously injured in the terrible crash.

Croatian state television HRT reported that around 30 people were injured, many seriously.

It said the most likely cause of the accident was the driver falling asleep, but an investigation is ongoing.

The broadcaster showed video of a blue bus crashing into a ditch next to the highway.

According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, it was en route to a Catholic shrine in Medjugorje, a town in southern Bosnia, towards Zagreb, the Croatian capital.

Rescuers recover a body from the wreckage of a bus at the accident site in Podvorec near Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday, August 6, 2022. A bus with Polish number plates has slid off a motorway in northern Croatia and police say more than 10 people have been killed. Croatia's state-run HRT television reported that several other people were injured, many seriously. (AP photo)

The tragedy happened around 30 miles north of the Croatian capital (Image: AP)

epa10108412 Emergency services at the scene of a Polish bus crash on a highway between Varazdin and Zagreb, Croatia, early in the morning of August 6, 2022. According to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 people have died in a Polish bus crash at kilometer 62 of the highway between Jarek Bisaski and Podvorec, towards Zagreb in Croatia. The other passengers on a bus are injured. All the people were pilgrims from Poland traveling to the Medjugorje Shrine in Bosnia and Herzegovina. EPO/IVAN AGNEZOVIC

Dozens more are feared to have been injured in the traffic tragedy (Image: EPA)

He said on Facebook: “This morning I spoke to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic about the details of the tragedy, who pledged the full support of Croatian medical services.

“I have recommended to our consular services to organize a relief organization for the families of those involved in the accident.”

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinic said the bus came from “a place near Warsaw” and “according to some information” it was carrying pilgrims to Medjugorje.

The accident happened at 5:40 a.m. local time about 30 miles north of Zagreb on the A-4 highway, a route that sees heavy traffic during peak season.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the scene of the accident and an investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing, Croatian media reported.

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Justin Scacco

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