The bus turns off road in Croatia; 10 killed, 45 wounded

Croatian police say ten people were killed and at least 45 others injured when a bus swerved off a motorway and crashed

ZAGREB, Croatia – A bus ran off a highway and crashed into Croatia early Sunday, killing 10 people and injuring at least 45 others – some seriously, authorities said.

The crash happened around noon. 6 (04.00 GMT; 12.00 EDT) near the town of Slavonski Brod on the highway between the capital, Zagreb and the Serbian border.

Photos from the scene showed the bus on the side in the grass near the roadside. Firefighters and rescuers could be seen around the bus while traffic on the highway was stopped.

Police said the bus had Kosovo number plates and was on a regular route from Germany to Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, south of Serbia. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Officials said the bus had 67 passengers, including children, and two drivers. Local police chief Franjo Galic described the crash as “one of the worst accidents I have ever seen.”

The 45 wounded were transferred to the hospitals in Slavonski Brod. Hospital director Josip Samardzic said eight people had serious injuries.

Health Minister Vili Baros later said 15 minors were passengers and that a girl was seriously injured.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovic expressed “sadness and grief” and expressed his condolences to the relatives of the people who died in the crash and the people of Kosovo.

“We hope the wounded recover,” Plenkovic tweeted.

Kosovo sent its interior minister to Croatia as senior officials offered condolences to the families of the victims and expressed hope for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

President Vjosa Osmani, who is in Tokyo at the Olympics, extended his grief in a message on Facebook.

“With our heart and in our spirit, we are close to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy,” Osmani said. “It is an indescribable pain and a great loss.”

The motorway where the accident happened is an important traffic artery through Croatia, which is busy in the summer due to tourism and foreign workers traveling home from Western Europe.

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