site.btaWrap-up: 12 Serbian Children Remain in Hospital in Bulgaria after Sunday Bus Accident on Trakia Motorway, Driver Charged
Twelve children and three adults from Serbia remain in hospital in Bulgaria after their bus had an accident on Trakia Motorway Sunday evening. Two of the children have sustained more serious injuries and were transferred to Sofia's Pirogov Emergency Hospital, caretaker Health Minister Assen Medjidiev said Monday. He held a news briefing together with his Serbian counterpart to provide an update on the condition of those injured in the accident.
One adult has had a leg amputation.
No lives were lost in the accident, which occurred around 20:30 hrs on Sunday at the 217th km of the motorway on the Sofia-bound lane. According to eyewitnesses, the bus slowly drove off the road and into the motorway ditch landing on its left side. The bus with some 50 people in it, most of them children, was returning to Serbia from a trip to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Police, fire engines and ambulances were rushed to the scene. Dozens of cars stopped to help the people on the bus.
Also on Monday, the prosecution service in the southern town of Stara Zagora pressed charges against the bus driver for violating the traffic safety rules and negligently causing the accident.
The 40-year-old D. K. tested negative for alcohol and drugs.
He has been remanded for 72 hours awaiting a court warrant for a longer arrest.
Investigators believe that the driver lost concentration for some reason.
The patients' condition
The Health Minister told the press Monday afternoon that one of the two children transferred to Pirogov was undergoing surgery for multiple injuries. "The other child was not in good condition this morning, was irresponsive, and I was concerned but the child is showing improvement after the transfer to Pirogov," he added.
Seven of the injured children, who are in good condition, were taken in five resuscitation ambulances from the city of Stara Zagora to the Kalotina border crossing on Bulgaria's border with Serbia, to be handed over to the Serbian healthcare authorities.
Three children and three adults remained in medical attendance at the University Hospital in Stara Zagora. They have sustained abdominal injuries, but their general condition is good, hospital director Prof. Yovcho Yovchev told BTA.
Serbian Ambassador to Bulgaria Zeljko Jovic said on Monday morning, as quoted by Tanjug news agency, that everything is being done to provide the injured children and adults with adequate medical help. "What matters most is the children being well and everything passing without serious consequences," he noted.
The Bulgarian Social Policy Ministry and the Social Assistance Agency render the necessary aid to the injured children.
Deputy Labour and Social Policy Minister Nadya Klissourska and social workers from the Stara Zagora Social Assistance Directorate are in constant contact with the health authorities and with the Serbian Embassy in Sofia.
Two psychologists and a translator are with the children. Children from the bus, who are intact after the accident, have been accommodated in a hotel in Stara Zagora and are in good condition, the Ministry said.
No problem has been identified with the section of the road where the accident occurred, Regional Development and Public Works Minister Ivan Shishkov said on Bulgarian National Television. This part of the motorway has been in operation since 2012 and is not among the problematic sections, he specified. Shishkov believes that the section will most probably require repair works in several years.
On the night of the accident, the road was wet after heavy rain showers.