SOFIA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 45 people were killed in a bus accident in western Bulgaria early Tuesday, officials told at a press conference on the spot.
Seven people with burns have survived and "are not in danger of death," Borislav Sarafov, head of the National Investigation Service (NIS), told reporters.
"We have information that 52 passengers were traveling in this bus, 12 of them children," Sarafov said, adding that "45 died, including the 12 children."
The accident took place at about 2:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) on a highway about 40 km south of Sofia, said the head of the fire safety department at the interior ministry.
According to him, the bus was part of a group of four buses that entered Bulgaria, and the buses belong to a tourist company from North Macedonia.
Boyko Rashkov, deputy prime minister for Public Order and Security and Minister of Interior, said it was still too early to say the exact number of victims because shortly before the accident, the four buses had stopped to rest, and some passengers could move to other buses.
"I have never seen such a thing before ... at the moment no one can say exactly how many victims there are or who they are," said Rashkov, who is a former head of the NIS.
The cause of the accident has yet to be determined.