Pope Expresses Sadness for Bulgaria Bus Victims

46 People Killed, Including 12 Children

Bulgaria Bus
The Pope prays the Rosary in St. Peter's Basilica, May 1, 2021 © Vatican Media

Pope Francis expressed deep sadness for the loss of life and the injuries caused by a fatal bus incident in Bulgaria in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

The bus, traveling from Istanbul in Turkey to the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, hit a guardrail and burst into flames some 40km south of Sofia, killing 46 people, 12 of them children. Seven people escaped from the bus and were taken to the hospital for medical attention.

According to local media reports, the bus was carrying tourists back to North Macedonia after an excursion to Turkey. Authorities said the cause is still under investigation. Photos taken shortly after the crash showed the vehicle engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, black smoke rose, reported the Associated Press. Daylight revealed a burned-out shell with all of its windows blown out, sitting in the median. A portion of the guardrail was peeled away and lying in the road

The following is the telegram of condolence for the victims of the tour bus accident that occurred yesterday near Sofia, Bulgaria, sent on behalf of the Holy Father Francis by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, His Excellency Mr. Stevo Pendarovski:

Telegram

HIS EXCELLENCY STEVO PENDAROVSKI
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA
SKOPJE

DEEPLY SADDENED TO LEARN OF THE LOSS OF LIFE AND INJURY CAUSED BY THE FATAL BUS INCIDENT IN BULGARIA, HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS EXPRESSES HEARTFELT SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THIS TRAGEDY. MINDFUL IN PARTICULAR OF THE CHILDREN WHO HAVE DIED, HE COMMENDS THE SOULS OF THE DECEASED TO THE MERCY OF THE ALMIGHTY AND ASSURES THE GRIEVING FAMILIES AND THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED OF HIS PRAYERS. AT THIS TIME OF NATIONAL MOURNING, HIS HOLINESS INVOKES UPON ALL THE DIVINE BLESSINGS OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE.

CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN

SECRETARY OF STATE