Bekim Haxhiu, the owner of the Besa Trans bus company whose vehicle crashed and burnt down a week ago with the loss of 45 lives, confirmed that there were plastic canisters in the car, but says that they were filled with water.

Speculations that the bus was carrying plastic canisters with cheap smuggled Turkish diesel, or even chemicals used to make heroin, were rife after the disaster. The main issue is why did the bus burn out so quickly and so completely.

There are canisters in every bus. They are filled with water, we must have them, in case something breaks and needs to replenish liquid. But there are strict controls on the entry into Bulgaria, the customs checks everything, from the luggage, to the diver, Haxhiu told the Bulgarian BNT channel, as he rejected the possibility that the drivers or somebody else on the bus were smuggling flammable liquids.