Bus swerves off road in Croatia; 10 killed, 45 injured

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A bus swerved off a highway and crashed in Croatia early Sunday, killing 10 people and injuring at least 45 others — some of them seriously, authorities said.

The crash happened at around 6 a.m. (0400 GMT; 12 a.m. EDT) near the town of Slavonski Brod on the highway between the capital, Zagreb, and the Serbian border.

Photos from the scene showed the bus on the side in the grass near the edge of the road. Firefighters and rescuers could be seen around the bus while traffic on the highway was halted.

Police said the bus had Kosovo license plates and was on a regular route from Germany to Kosovo capital Pristina, which is located south of Serbia. The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known.

Officials said the bus was carrying 67 passengers, including children, and two drivers. Local police chief Franjo Galic described the crash as “one of the worst accidents I have ever seen."

The 45 injured were transferred to the hospitals in Slavonski Brod. Hospital chief Josip Samardzic said eight people had serious injuries.

Health Minister Vili Baros later said 15 minors were passengers and that one girl was seriously injured.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic expressed “sadness and grief” and extended his condolences to the relatives of the people who died in the crash and the people of Kosovo.

“We hope the injured will recover,” Plenkovic tweeted.

Kosovo sent its interior minster to Croatia, as top officials offered condolence to the families of the victims and expressed hope for the swift recovery of the injured.

President Vjosa Osmani, who is in Tokyo at the Olympic Games, extended her sorrow in a message on Facebook.

“With our heart and in spirit, we are close to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy," Osmani said. “It is an indescribable pain and a great loss."

The highway where the crash happened is a key traffic artery through Croatia which is busy over the summer because of tourism and foreign workers traveling home from Western Europe.

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