Bus catches fire killing 12 Bulgarian children

Image copyright AFP Image caption The bus was destroyed by the fire

Twelve children and a woman have been killed when a bus they were travelling in caught fire in Bulgaria, an official says.

Another 40 people were taken to hospital, including five children with serious burns, Bulgarian media reports say.

The accident happened near the Black Sea city of Varna.

Vehicles were particularly crowded in Bulgaria over the summer break, which has proved fatal for many people.

Last weekend, 62 people died and 32 more were injured when a bus was engulfed in flames on the highway between Serbia and Bosnia.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Passengers leapt from the burning bus in chaotic scenes

Image copyright AFP Image caption At least 40 people were injured

Two out of 10 Bulgarian families have two or more children, according to one recent study, reflecting growing numbers in families in the developed west of the country.

Bulgaria has the fourth highest child mortality rate among OECD countries, while the country’s armed forces are the most populous in Europe, says the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse in Sofia.

The country has the highest suicide rate in the EU, and a third of all homicides involve a weapon, he adds.

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