Bulgaria bus crash kills at least 16, injures 20

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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SOFIA, Bulgaria - A bus careered down a Bulgarian mountainside and plowed through pedestrians heading to a religious festival Thursday, killing at least 16 people and injuring at least 20, authorities said.
Police said the driver apparently lost control of the passenger bus, which was carrying 19 elderly people from a local care home, and could not stop as the vehicle came down a steep mountain road near the city of Yambol, some 260 kilometres southeast of Sofia.
The bus hit a crowd of people on their way to attend a traditional religious feast.
Yambol Mayor Georgi Slavov said 16 people were killed and at least 20 were being treated in a nearby hospital. Four of the injured were listed in very serious condition, including one of the bus passengers, an 82-year-old woman.
Bulgaria's predominantly Christian Orthodox population celebrates Thursday as Ascension Day, which relates to the ascension of Jesus to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection.
The government said Friday would be an official national day of mourning for the victims.
President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev changed their schedules and headed to the scene of the accident, their offices said.

Geographic location: Bulgaria, SOFIA, Yambol

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