Bus crash in Croatia kills 12 Polish pilgrims heading to shrine | Croatia


Twelve Polish nationals died and 30 others were injured when a bus bound for Zagreb veered off a highway in northern Croatia.

The injured were taken to area hospitals and 18 were in serious condition, said Maja Grba Bujević, head of the Croatian emergency services.

Sixteen emergency medical teams were dispatched to the crash site.

Polish consulate employee Dagmara Lukovic said the bus passengers were Polish. The bus was registered in Poland, according to the Croatian Interior Ministry.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the bus was carrying pilgrims to the Catholic shrine in Medjugorje, a town in southern Bosnia.

The shrine is Europe’s third most popular pilgrimage destination after Lourdes and Fatima, although the Vatican has not verified any of the reported miracles witnesses have claimed to have seen there.

“This morning I discussed the details of the tragedy with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who ensured the full support of Croatian medical services,” Morawiecki posted on Facebook.

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović said the bus came “from a place near Warsaw” and that “according to some information” it was transporting pilgrims to Medjugorje.

The crash happened at 5:40 a.m. local time (3:40 a.m. GMT) about 50 km north of Zagreb on the busy A4 highway in the high tourist season.

Rescue teams were sent to the scene of the accident and an investigation was opened into the causes of the accident, Croatian media reported.

Croatia has attracted millions of tourists this summer, with around 580,000 Polish tourists visiting between January and July.

In July last year, 10 tourists from Kosovo died in a bus accident on a highway in eastern Croatia.

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