Bus plunges into ravine in North Macedonia, killing 13

February 13, 2019 - 11:58 am

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — A bus carrying workers in North Macedonia crashed into a small ravine outside the capital Skopje, killing 13 people and injuring about 30 others Wednesday, the newly renamed European nation's health minister said.

Venko Filipce said seven victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the rest died after they were taken to a hospital.

Out of the other injured people, one was in life-threatening condition, according to Hristijan Kostov, director of the Skopje's hospital where most were being treated.

The bus was carrying about 50 people when it veered off a highway linking Skopje with the western town of Tetovo and plunged 10 meters (30 feet) into a small ravine, landing upside down. The cause of the crash, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Skopje, wasn't yet known.

Firefighters and residents of a nearby village rushed to the scene of the crash to help pull survivors, including the bus driver, out of the wreckage.

Witness Samet Musliu told private Telma TV that rescuers had to cut up the bus to reach the injured.

"There was a strong smell of gasoline and we were afraid the bus would explode," he said.

The bus had been carrying workers back from Skopje to the town of Gostivar, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the capital, where most of them lived, Gostivar mayor Arben Taravari said.