Bus crash in Croatia leaves 12 Polish pilgrims dead, 32 injured

Written by Javed Iqbal

VARAZDIN, Croatia, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Twelve people were killed in Croatia on Saturday when a Polish bus full of religious pilgrims skidded off a road and crashed near Varazdin, authorities said.

32 people were injured in the accident that happened at 5:40 a.m. (0340 GMT) on the highway between Varazdin in northwest Croatia and the capital Zagreb.

Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros said 19 people were in a serious condition.

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Marcin Przydacz, deputy head of the Polish foreign ministry, who traveled to the scene on Saturday, said the injured were being treated at five hospitals in Croatia.

He said there were 44 Polish pilgrims on the bus traveling from Poland to Medjugorje, a Roman Catholic shrine in southern Bosnia, including two drivers. Among them were three priests and six nuns, a ministry spokesman said.

Police cleared the area of ​​the crash after firefighters and medical teams located all occupants of the vehicle, which had Warsaw license plates.

Polish police officers in Croatia as part of the project “Safe tourist destination” helped the Croatian authorities to communicate with the survivors.

An investigation into the cause of the accident has been launched.

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Reporting by Antonio Bronic in Croatia, Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo and Joana Plucinska in Warsaw; Editing by Jason Neely, Mark Heinrich and Mike Harrison

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Javed Iqbal

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