Insight Online News
Zagreb(Croatia), Aug 6 : Twelve people were killed on Saturday after a bus carrying Polish pilgrims veered off a road in Croatia and ended up in a ditch.
All 32 surviving passengers are said to be injured, 19 of them seriously, a BBC report said.
The trip, organised by the Brotherhood of St Joseph Catholic group, included three priests and six nuns. The bus was on its way to Medjugorje, a Catholic shrine in Bosnia.
The passengers were all Polish adults, said the Polish Foreign Ministry.
They were all pilgrims mainly from Radom and Sokolow in Masovian province.
The accident happened at around 5.40 am local time, when the bus they were travelling in veered off the A4 road between Jarek Bisaski and Podvorec, north-east of the Croatian capital here.
Poland’s justice minister and prosecutor general have ordered the Warsaw Prosecutors Office to launch an investigation into the cause of the tragedy.
Two Polish ministers are headed to Croatia in the wake of the incident.
“Some of the injured passengers are fighting for their lives,” Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said.
The Polish Foreign Ministry said the driver was not thought to be among the fatalities, but it was yet to be confirmed.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, adding in a post on Twitter that emergency services were doing all they could to help.
Pilgrimages to the small town of Medjugorje are very popular in Poland following reports that local children saw a vision of the Virgin Mary there in the 1980s, the BBC report said.