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

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

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

Thirty-two people were injured in the crash that occurred at 05:40 (0340 GMT) on the highway between Varazdin, in northwestern Croatia, and the capital Zagreb.

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

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Marcin Przydacz, deputy head of the Polish Foreign Ministry, who traveled to the site 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 where the accident took place after firefighters and medical teams found all occupants of the vehicle with Warsaw license plates.

Polish police officers, in Croatia, as part of the “Safe Tourist Destination” project, helped Croatian authorities communicate with the survivors.

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

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

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