ZAGREB, Croatia — A Polish-registered bus transporting pilgrims to a shrine in Bosnia slid off a highway in northern Croatia early Saturday, killing at least 12 people and injuring several others, police and officials said.
The Croatian police announced on Twitter that “according to the first information from the field, eleven people died and several were injured when a bus with Polish license plates was thrown over”. Officials said another passenger later died in a hospital and the bus was carrying 43 people.
Croatian state television HRT reported that around 30 people were injured, many seriously. The most likely cause of the accident was the driver falling asleep, it said.
The broadcaster showed video of a blue bus crashing into a ditch next to the highway. The bus was heading towards Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the bus was taking pilgrims to the Catholic shrine in Medjugorje, a town in southern Bosnia. The shrine is Europe’s third most popular place of pilgrimage after Lourdes and Fatima, although the Vatican has not confirmed any of the reported miracles witnesses allegedly saw there.
“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,” Morawiecki said on Facebook. “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 taking pilgrims to Medjugorje.
The accident happened at 5:40 a.m. local time about 30 miles north of Zagreb on the A-4 highway, which is busy during peak season.
Rescue teams were dispatched to the scene of the accident, where an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, Croatian media reported.
https://nypost.com/2022/08/06/croatia-bus-crash-kills-at-least-12-31-injured/ Bus crash in Croatia claims at least 12 dead, 31 injured